In the event of an emergency or sudden trip to the hospital, it’s good practice to have an Emergency Bag for your senior loved one. Emergencies and hospital visits can be extremely distressing, so by preparing in advance you can make them significantly less stressful, and instead focus on being there for your senior loved one – not running around organising things. Here’s what every senior care emergency bag should have:
- Patient Fact Sheet: This is an essential document that will help doctors, nurses, and any other carers who are in contact with your elderly loved one. This can simply be a sheet of paper detailing their name, your emergency contact details, any notes on their current medical conditions, and anything you think is relevant about their condition. For example, if your loved one has dementia and is likely to be upset by certain things, you can alert nurses to methods that usually make him/her feel calm.
- Photocopied Documents: Identification, insurance, as well as living will and organ donor information, if applicable.
- Medications: Prescription or non-prescription, if you have access to extras.
- Comfort items: For example, spare set of eyeglass, toiletry set, slippers, family photos, reading book or puzzles/games, small amount of cash, phone charger, etc.
We never like to think about these situations until they happen, but hospitalisations become a fact of life for elderly people living at home, so give yourself peace of mind by being prepared.