If you’d need to let other people know what to do if you were suddenly unable to care for your elder, read on. A useful downloadable document saves you reinventing the wheel too…
Covid-19 advice means I’ll need to self-isolate if I get symptoms, so it’s time to write that carer emergency plan I’ve meaning to get around to.
Imagine what would happen if you couldn’t carry out your care duties for a while. Could a friend, neighbour or family member step in, in the short term at least? But what about the longer term? With some preparation, cross fingers we can make it through.
What’s in a carer’s emergency plan?
Details of your loved one’s meds and how and where to get them, GP details and all the other formal stuff are important to include, of course. I’d also recommend attaching the care plan too. This will make sure the whole person, their background, likes and preferences are also included. Favourite meals and where to buy them and all the things and little rituals that you know bring comfort. The emergency plan tends to be a more factual, even potentially insensitive document but does help people stepping in for you find emergency help.
Here are two templates you can use and adapt, the second has a dementia section for those living with a cognitive brain disease. They were shared with me by Carers Bucks last December.
Who can support you?
In an emergency, if you or a family member carry an emergency card, then first responders can help you and the person/people you care for. MyLiferaft have produced a free option you can use here.
Beyond neighbours, family members and friends, I’d recommend you make a note of the local organisations that could advise or help any person stepping in for you and could connect your elder to support. Find useful links here.
Make sure you notify all the people and organisations you’ve included in the emergency plan and give them each a copy. Keep a copy in your and your loved one’s home too, in an obvious place. Other tips from Carers UK.
How you can support others
This postcard is circulating in social media. It’s a great idea. If you feel you can help another carer, let them know. (Not if you’re over 70 yourself and perhaps not if you’re an emergency service worker).
I’ll be completing this postcard and posting it through the neighbouring door of a couple who are both over 70 and likely to be self isolating soon, if not already. I know their children live a distance away. Perhaps your family and friends can do the same. I hope someone will help offer to help my mum and dad in Yorks too.
This poster, again circulating on social media, is useful for immuno-suppressed households to remind people to keep their distance.
Good luck. Drive carefully, don’t walk under ladders and be careful with knives. Follow Covid-19 guidelines and spread only kindness.