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Family Emergencies – 6 Things a Caregiver Should Document

Caregivers help people with aging diseases, illnesses, and with conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia, among many other conditions – live a better quality life and feel more comfortable day in and day out. Keep in mind, a caregiver is also referred to as a caretaker.  Caregivers may be hired, or you may be providing care for a loved one yourself. Nonetheless, it is a number one duty to know important & personal information about the loved one that is being cared for as this will help caregivers care, treat, and manage health status & wellness. But what if something happens to you, the caregiver?

In this article, you will learn what data caregivers should document, this way, you can ensure your child with special needs, aging parent, or ill family member or friend is taken care of if caregiver services are halted—due to hospitalizations, illnesses, job changes, or even death.

Keep in mind, when people are involved in family emergency situations, it is often difficult to get vital information in one place. Important information includes:

  • Family & friend contacts
  • Allergies/current medications
  • Financial accounts for medical expenses
  • Medical insurance information
  • Patient medical conditions
  • Living expenses

The answers and information above often go overlooked when dealing with family emergencies. This is why it is crucial to obtain a Family Emergency Card.

Caregivers Need to Document Patient Needs:

As a caregiver, you will need to document vital patient information, so another caretaker can take over when you are unable to.

Note* If you fail to gather the data below, you could potentially cost people large sums of money or their life.

  1. Make sure to document a list of all patient medications, dosages, allergies, and medical history from immediate family members. The more you know, the better off you will be. After all, you wouldn’t want to accidentally administer too much medication. Knowing these imperative facts will help keep a loved one alive longer and feeling good.
  1. Document nutritional guidelines, meal choices, and daily regimes. In order for any human body to properly function and heal, certain nutrients and minerals are needed per individual. Feed your patients healthy foods they like by documenting their likes and dislikes. Keep open communication with them every chance you get.
  1. Doctor contact information-having this information on hand will give you and your patient peace of mind. Doctors are aware of personal medical issues, this is the best person who should be sent to the rescue when a devastating family emergency situation is occurring.
  1. Past surgeries-when you know about invasive surgeries, you can alert the doctor and the future caregiver if you properly document what the patient is unable to communicate.
  1. What exact condition(s) does your patient have? Documenting what he or she suffers from will help future caregivers know what to do and how to make loved ones feel relief.
  1. Caregivers will need to document financial information, including insurance policy numbers; in some cases, a power of attorney will be needed, if the patient cannot pay for his or her medical or living expenses on their own. Some caregivers take on this responsibility, depending on the condition of the patient.

Being a good caregiver requires that you know your patient in-and-out, otherwise, if you leave out critical facts, not only will you damage one life, but you will endanger your own, especially if your negligent documentation causes a negative outcome.

Always document vital patient information for the next caregiver, and help loved ones feel comfortable, so they communicate with complete transparency.

For more information about creating a family emergency plan and caregiving tips, learn more at Family Emergency Card today.

About the Editor: Bryan Beeler is a Certified Estate and Trust Specialist.

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