There’s a sad situation happening in emergency rooms around the country. A senior citizen falls or is in some kind of accident and arrives at the ER unconscious. Doctors need vital pieces of information in order to come up with a treatment plan, but family members don’t have answers to all of the questions.
Do you know everything an emergency room doctor will ask? How much of your mom and dad’s information is something you know or can quickly look up? If you don’t know all of the following answers, talk to your parents. It can make a difference in the care the hospital is able to give within minutes of your parent’s arrival.
What Medications Do They Take?
You need to know all of the medications your mom or dad takes. While the emergency room doctors can look it up or call pharmacies to get answers, that delays the care doctors give. Write a list of the medication, dosage, and instructions. Add all non-prescription supplements like vitamins and herbal supplements. Tuck a copy of the list into your purse or wallet, your mom’s purse/your dad’s wallet, and make sure caregivers and any siblings also have a copy.
Does Your Mom or Dad Have Any Medical Conditions or Chronic Illnesses?
If your parent has diabetes, a heart condition, or some other underlying medical condition or illness, doctors need to know. If your dad is allergic to penicillin, other medications must be used. If your mom has diabetes, blood sugar levels need to be monitored. If your parent is a former addict to something like painkillers, some medications may need to be avoided.
Is There an Advanced Directive?
An advanced directive tells a doctor what care can be offered. It covers things like ventilators, feeding tubes, and other steps taken to prolong life. If your mom or dad wouldn’t want to be kept alive with little chance for a full recovery, doctors need to know. With the advanced directive, someone is given the task of making those choices when the patient cannot speak for him or herself.
Talk to your parents about what happens after a trip to the ER. They may need caregivers to help with medication reminders, light housework, transportation, and meal preparation. It’s better to discuss the necessity of caregivers while there is time to do some research.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Manchester, NJ, contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care’s Ocean/Monmouth Division. Call today 732-719-7011.
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