Emergency situations are a stressful time for everyone.
If you are a caregiver, you may not have all the necessary information to handle situations on your own. If your loved one requires the services of a caregiver, you may worry about their actions in emergency situations. If you receive supports from a caregiver or family member, you may want your caregiver and loved ones to follow your preferences in emergency situations.
In any case, it is important to have an emergency sheet prepared and available to all individuals involved in your care.
1. Emergency Numbers
Even if the caregiver is from the area and may know emergency numbers, be sure to include local emergency numbers for easy access. This includes 911 and poison control. Every second counts during an emergency situation.
2. Non-Emergency Numbers
Be sure to include non-emergency numbers for the local police department, fire department, and hospital. These numbers could be necessary to keep a situation from becoming an emergency.
3. Family Members
Include the contact information for several family members in the area in case one is unreachable during an emergency. Be sure to include phone numbers that can be reached at any hour. If different family members are to be reached in different emergencies, include this information as well.
Ask neighbors or nearby friends if they are okay with being listed. Include this contact information for the caregiver’s use in necessary non-emergency situations. This can include a particularly heavy lifting situation or a quick check in.
Include the number of the individual’s doctor in case the caregiver has a question about the medications or health of the client. This number should also be provided in case an individual requires an over-the-counter medication. Their doctor should always be consulted before mixing over-the-counter medicines with prescribed medications.
Office numbers should also be provided for use in making any necessary appointments. It often falls on a caregiver or family member to arrange and provide transportation to healthcare appointments.
6. Health Concerns
Be sure to include any health conditions and allergies the individual may have. In emergency situations this can help to determine what caused the emergency and streamline treatment. This can also help emergency responders be aware if the individual is allergic to any type of medication or if they cannot withstand certain types of treatment.
List all medications the individual is currently taking, in order to easily relay information to an emergency healthcare professional.
8. Emergency Procedures
If there are specific emergency concerns for the individual, be sure to include procedures to follow during each type of emergency. Also include regular emergency procedures such as what to do when someone is choking or has an injury.
9. Multiple Copies
Provide all caregivers and family care providers with a copy of this information as well as posting it somewhere in the home (such as on the refrigerator or a bulletin board) for easy access. Availability of this information during an emergency can make all the difference.
An emergency sheet should be created to ensure all parties are prepared and able in any emergency or non-emergency situation.