No one likes emergencies. They tend to turn the world upside down. If we are lucky, it’s a short-term situation that is more nerve wracking than disastrous. When it involves an elderly loved one, Grandpa or Grandma or Great Aunt Vera, emergencies are especially traumatic. There are some steps you can take to be proactive and reduce the trauma – and drama – in the case of an emergency.
As caregivers, being prepared gets you a few steps ahead when time is of the essence and the safety and well-being of someone you love is in danger.
Emergencies range from a sudden injury or illness to bad weather or fire. Our mission at Keeping In Touch Solutions is to maintain the safety, security and well-being of the aging so they can stay in the play they call home for as long as possible. We’d like to offer three tips to get everyone prepared in the case of an emergency:
Tip 1 – Have copies of important legal docs somewhere besides in the owner’s home. Copies housed in a safe deposit box or a relative’s home could save hours and hours of confusion and headaches later on. Important documents to consider copying: Last Will and Testament; insurance policies; bank, savings and stock accounts; passport; birth certificate; social security card; driver’s license; divorce decrees; deeds; car titles. You might want to include an extra set of car or house keys in the package as well. Medical information is helpful as well. Even a partial or outdated list of prescriptions and doctor’s telephone numbers can help restore order in the aftermath of an emergency. In addition, you will have one place where all the information is available instead of searching place to place.
Tip 2 – It might seem obvious, but installing – and checking the batteries for – smoke and fire detectors is often overlooked. Being roused out of sleep is startling, but not being awakened can be worse. Also, having motion lights or dusk to dawn lights installed on the outside of the house makes it easier to navigate if your loved one must evacuate their home at night. This is especially true when emotions are heightened.
Tip 3 – Have a plan. If Grandma is alone and has an emergency, does she know where to go or who to call? Should she leave her home and if so, where should she go? Everyone wants to be informed if something has happened, and in the frantic aftermath of an emergency, a son or daughter who lives far away might be overlooked, with nearby relatives thinking someone else has contacted them. Create a plan and document it so Grandma knows where to go and who to call. When she only has to think about getting in touch with one person, she can avoid getting confused and having to remember phone numbers.
To help with that, Keeping In Touch Solutions has developed a Family Calling Tree that every family can use to plan out who is the point of first contact for Grandma or Grandpa or Great Aunt Tillie. Each person listed on the tree takes responsibility for notifying the person following them on the chart. In this way, it is systematic and no one is forgotten or left out. The other bonus is that everyone gets a copy and has all the phone numbers in one place – which can be very helpful if your cell phone (with all your numbers) is not with you.
Click below to download the FREE Keeping In Touch Solutions Family Calling Tree right away. Because we make calls to your loved ones every day, we know the power of a phone call. Keep copies of the Calling Tree in your car, work desk and several other places where you know you will have access immediately in case of an emergency.
Be prepared and reduce the trauma of an emergency. Because emergencies are never planned and they are inevitable.
A daily check-in call could be the lifeline, the joy you give someone that makes the biggest difference in their perception of what old age is like.
Contact me at 317-480-1038 today. Let’s make a difference together.
I’m Diana Beam, Founder of Keeping in Touch Solutions. It is my heartfelt desire for every person to live a happy and healthy life in the place they call home, no matter what their age. You can’t put a price on peace of mind for your parents and yourself. It’s priceless . . . and significant.
For that reason, the goal of every Keeping In Touch Solutions program is to provide a caring connection and service that both the elderly and their caregivers can rely on to make living that good life easier.
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