101 Ways to Cope with Losing Elderly Parents # 7

It is pretty much inevitable that frail elderly parents will have at least one medical emergency that requires hospitalisation and it is a very good idea to be well prepared for this in advance.

Take a quiet moment to make a list of  key information that is going to be required when an emergency arises and  be aware that that stuff you think you could never, ever forget has a tendency to go absolutely blank in an emergency situation.

So here’s my basic template for the Emergency List:

1. Telephone Number/s of the Emergency Services ~ especially the Ambulance

2. Your parent’s full name and date of birth

3. Your parent’s next of kin

2. The telephone number at which your parent resides

3. Your mobile phone number

4. Directions to your parent’s residence

5. A brief outline of your parent’s medical condition/s

6. A list of CURRENT medications and dosages

7. A note of any known allergies to medications 

8. Details of Medical Insurance or other cover

9. Name, address and telephone number of your parent’s family doctor

10. Telephone numbers of other family members

Please note that making such a list does not bring on an emergency but it will certainly be immensely helpful if and when one arises.

Finally, make sure that the Emergency List stored in a place where you or others likely to be on the scene are sure to remember!

About socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and I love to write both non-fiction and poetry.
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8 Responses to 101 Ways to Cope with Losing Elderly Parents # 7

  1. Dale says:

    My father was so organised – HE created the perfect list!!! I realise not all are so lucky so this is a great list.

    • Maureen says:

      That is a very good list, Jean, but when talking with my mother I was surprised that she was quite adverse to the idea of being resuscitated if something happened to her so it would be very important to ensure that any D.N.R. (do not resusciate) wishes are recorded

      • socialbridge says:

        Thanks for writing, Maureen, and for drawing attention to the DNR issue. I agree that it’s very important and it would be great if there could be consensus about it ~ especially across jurisdictions.
        It would certainly seem to be of benefit if people here in Ireland anyway, made their wishes clear in writing, through a third party such as their family doctor, rather than leaving it to their families to ‘speak’ for them in the actual emergency situation.

    • socialbridge says:

      Hi Dale, it was great that your father drew up his own list. That seems to be the ideal situation but as you say not all are as organised or able to do so.

  2. inggita says:

    My mom survived StevenJohnson so there’s only a limited number of antibiotic she can take without lethal allergic reaction. These are stored in my cellphone under her name and i guess now we can add the list above to this so during emergencies i can text/send this contact card to whomever.

    • socialbridge says:

      Thanks very much for writing and I’m sorry to hear of your mother’s health issues. Yes, it would seem like a great idea to add the other relevant aspects of the list to the key list of antibiotics to which she is allergic. Wishing you the very best. j

  3. Hi Jean,

    My Mom passed away 2 years ago and my Dad is still going strong at 94. He is so organized, it’s amazing. He has everything written down and in files and his 3 daughters all have copies. And his meds are typed up on a small piece of paper folded in his wallet. That came in handy when he passed out at our son’s h.s. graduation last June. So scary at the time, but it was the heat, so he was fine and actually ended up entertaining the doctors and nurses in the ER with his incredible memory. :) He’s a character! Anyway, thanks for this informative post! Take care! xx

    • socialbridge says:

      Lauren, I just love the sound of your father! His ‘antics’ with the doctors and nurses remind me of my own father in ER situations! It’s great that he is so organised.

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