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Monday, May 14, 2012

Medical Emergencies

When the unexpected happens, are you prepared?  Do you carry around a list of medications, surgeries, allergies, symptoms and illnesses that your loved one has experienced.  You will need to keep this on your phone or in your wallet at all times.  When you least expect it, something will come up, and you'll end up in the emergency room not able to provide valuable information to the medical staff when they ask for it. Even if your loved one is in a nursing home or assisted living, you need to keep the updated information on you.  Your loved one may not be able to give their address and name, let alone the handful of medication they probably take on a daily basis.  If possible, grab the bag of medications before you go to the hospital.  They like to be able to verify the meds.  If you send your loved one out of town with friends or relatives, they need a complete list of surgeries, medications and medical events.  Send a written form with all the names of the meds along with the doses and number of times a day they take them.   Also add to this list any drug or food allergies and what happens to them if they take those medications.  You should not only do this for your loved one, but for yourself.  Make sure someone close to you keeps an updated list of your meds in case you become incapacitated. Someone will need to communicate this information for you.  If your loved one is in the hospital, do not leave them alone.  Have someone with them at all times to check any medication they are being given.  Mistakes can and do happen.

Have a plan of who is going to care of your loved one in case you have an emergency.  Tomorrow is too late to have all this information together.  You need it; take care of it today!

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