Going to the emergency room is never fun, especially for the elderly. If your elderly loved one seems to spend more time in the hospital than out of the hospital, then they have probably developed a huge distaste for the hospital and the emergency room. To help your loved one get through the emergency room visits easier, you can put together a kit of pertinent items that allow them to breeze through check in and meet with the doctor in no time. The quicker they are seen, the quicker they can begin feeling better and the quicker they can go home. Keep reading to find out how to make an emergency room kit for your loved one that saves time, hassle and stress.
When an emergency occurs, the last thing on your mind is what to pack. Yet, it is essential when going to the emergency room that you make sure you pack a variety of papers and documents. If you do not pack all of the essentials then your loved one may not be able to be seen in a timely manner. Without all of the proper documents and papers, your loved ones and your stress levels may increase drastically while in the waiting room. You may have to wait for hours on end with a sick loved one if you do not have all of the right documents. Being well-prepared can be of comfort to both you and your loved one in a time of need, but it can also be a necessity. In case of an emergency you should have all of the following items packed.
List of Current Medications
Make sure that you have a complete list of all of the medications that your loved one takes on a daily or weekly basis whenever traveling to the ER. The ER doctor will not have any information about your loved one, and will rely on you and your loved one to tell them their entire history, including medication usage. Make sure the list includes the doses for each medication and the time of the day each medicine is taken, and do not forget to include over-the-counter meds such as aspirin or vitamins. It is not necessary to take all of their individual medications to ER, a list will suffice.
List of Allergies
It is essential that you also bring a list of their allergies including food and medication allergies. You also should know and understand each type of reaction that your loved one has when exposed to the allergens and what type of intervention is utilized.
Description of Diagnoses
Keep a document of all of your loved one’s diagnoses handy whenever you visit the emergency room with them. A list of your loved one’s current diagnoses should be easy to obtain from their physician. Simply call the office and ask them for the list on the behalf of your loved one. The list should also contain how each current condition is being treated.
Doctors Names and Numbers
The next time you are with your loved one take the time to sit down with them and write down all of their doctors names and phone numbers. This information will be essential whenever you visit the emergency room with your loved one. It will allow the ER doctors to contact your loved ones doctors to get any pertinent information they need to diagnose and treat your loved one. Plus, this information may also come in handy whenever dealing with routine doctor’s visits.
Insurance Cards and Information
Having a photocopy of your loved one’s insurance cards can be vital during a visit to the emergency room. Copy both sides of your loved one’s insurance cards and do not overlook any supplemental plans your loved one may have. The hospital that your loved one visit may require to see the original card, but you may be able to register and get your loved one seen with just the photocopy, and then you can easily bring the original card to the hospital at a later date.
Your loved one will need a photo identification card to be seen at the emergency room. Often, even a library card or a group membership card is an adequate identification card for the emergency room. Keep a photocopy of their identification cards in your files in case your loved one does forget their wallet on the way to the hospital.
Include copies of your loved one’s living will, health care proxy and their DNR if applicable in your emergency room kit. These documents may come in handy during a critical situation.
Glasses and/or Hearing Aids
If your loved one has glasses or hearing aids then make sure you grab them whenever leaving for the emergency room. These items will be critical to ensure clear communication between your loved ones and their health care team. Plus, these items will help calm your loved one down during a time of crisis and will help put them at ease.
Items that bring comfort to your loved one should be included in your emergency kit for your loved one. These items may include family photos, religious texts or objects, a favorite book, snacks, a blanket or a stuffed animal. Do not bring too many items so that you can avoid clutter in the hospital, but a few items may help your loved one calm down during a particularly stressful visit.
Creating a small emergency room kit can make the difference between having a short, easier visit and having a long, stressful visit to the emergency room. The items in this list can truly help make your loved one’s emergency room visit stress free and peaceful. These items may even help expedite your loved one’s care in order to get them the care they need in a timely and stress free manner. Without any of these pertinent items, your loved one may have to wait for care and their disposition may grow more and more weary as the time goes by.
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