Unfortunately, being a caregiver will find you in the emergency room more times than you may like. To help make these visits as easy as possible, we gathered a few ideas and tips to make your life easier.
Keep a list of all medications, the times the meds are taken and the amount of medication being dispensed. The list should be placed in your car, on your smartphone or somewhere you can grab quickly. This will help the nursing/hospital staff, keep you calm and can reduce your emergency waiting room time.
Keep a list of all doctors for each ailment (cardiologist, oncologist, pulmonologist, etc.) up to date along with the date of the last visit with any tests/treatments performed. This will provide the emergency room doctor with a complete picture of your loved one’s condition and will give you peace of mind.
Pack a toothbrush, comb, deodorant and a spare pair of undies in a plastic bag and place it in a location that you can grab it as you run out the door. It may be a few days before your loved one is released or can take a shower so this will help them feel more comfortable.
Contacts & things
Use a caregiving app, or create a smartphone text/email distribution list with the most important contacts for easy communication. This is a time saver! You can easily email or text the most important contacts to keep them up to date on the emergency room visit. Also, don’t forget a phone charger, you may be in the emergency room for hours, passing the time on your smart phone will keep you sane, but the battery may run out, and asking a busy nurse or nurse assistant to borrow theirs is a no-no.
Always keep some money and change available in your car or wallet. Most emergency room visits happen after hours, and more often than not, the hospital cafeteria will be closed. Having money on hand, especially change will give you access to vending machines to stay hydrated and thwart off the 4 a.m. hunger pains.
Whenever you do have to make an emergency visit, don’t be afraid to ask questions regarding your loved one’s health. Being a proactive caregiver for your loved one is essential. And remember, amongst the chaos, the love, support and care that you are providing as a caregiver is indeed a blessing for your loved one.