What would your family do if a crisis occurred? Are you aware of the wishes of those people close to you in the event that you would have to make a decision for them? Have you expressed your wishes to your family so that they would be prepared? Did you know that a simple thing like communication can make a difference in a crisis situation? People are living longer and they will most likely have one or more chronic diseases to deal with. These situations give the family time to discuss what would need to be done in the event that your loved one needed assistance, however, few families are comfortable talking about this. But what would happen if there was an accident, a heart attack or stroke? Do you have an advanced directive and does your family know where it is? Do you have a POA? There are so many questions that arise during a crisis. Decisions have to be made quickly. Not only do we not want our family to second guess our wishes but why burden them with that. As an ER nurse, I found that the families who were prepared had a much better outcome than those who weren’t. One thing that everyone should have handy is a list of their medications, medical history such as illnesses and surgeries and a list of doctors. These should be updated anytime there is a change in medication etc. It is not an acceptable answer to tell the nurse that everything should be on file from the last visit. Some records are not easily obtainable and may be different after that last ER visit when you followed up with your primary care doctor. It’s best to just keep this information handy, after all, it’s only a piece of paper. Stay informed. What if something were to happen to the caregiver? What if something were to happen to you? Are you prepared?
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