Yesterday, I started talking about the need for a disaster/emergency plan. It’s important for everyone, but especially for caregivers. Whether your loved one lives with you or not a plan is important.
- Make a Plan
- Get Help
- Figure out how to get out
Today, I’ll pick up with step #4
Step FOUR–Write down your plan and give it to your disaster helpers. Keep a copy in your car, at your job and send one to someone who does not live in your area. Tape to the refrigerator or other obvious area instructions regarding the care of your loved one including: medications, medical conditions (such as dementia, diabetes, etc.), schedule of meals and meds, contact phone numbers. It would also be wise to let emergency personnel know what to do if your loved one gets overly anxious (sing, talk quietly, backrub, talk about the old days). Is there a blanket, stuffed animal or special item that may help to calm your loved one? If so, note it.
Step FIVE–Send someone outside of your area a copy of your important papers. If things get really tough and you misplace, loser or leave your passport, driver’s license and credit cards you become a non-person. Take a moment to make copies of your birth certificate, credit cards, insurance papers, driver’s license and send to someone TRUSTED who can get the info to you or make calls for you if necessary.
Step SIX–Review your plan from time to time. Be sure you know where to find it. Check in with your helpers and your loved (if practical) one to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Update things like meds and eating habits as they change.
It may sound like just another thing to do in your already very busy life, but if disaster does strike, you’ll be glad you have a plan.
So, take the time. No, make the time to develop and emergency/disaster plan for you and your loved ones.