My client’s medical emergency is beautiful. My client is beautiful and she is the master of her emergency. Here’s why and how.
She is of 81 years; a Ph.D. in sociology; a painter. Gracious, generous, and thoroughly competent, a friend said she “should be running the United Nations.” Quite. Her health is better than most people half her age.
And she is better prepared for a medical emergency than anyone I know. All her paperwork is done, and she hired us at Care is There to be her advocate if a medical emergency occurs.
Why is she so prepared? Certainly not out of fear or concern since she has little of either. Her preparedness is a gift she has chosen to give to her out-of-town children: she doesn’t want them having to drop everything and rush to her side if she has a sudden medical problem.
But I also think it is the mark of a life well managed and beautifully arranged. If circumstances require that she pay sudden host to the rescue squad, they will find everything they need for pleasant and efficient visit – posted on the refrigerator door just as they like it. If she is whisked away to the emergency room, she can take the kit she keeps by her bed, inside what looks like a lovely red handbag. And Care is There will be with her, making sure the medical team knows who she is and what she needs and keeping her family informed about her care and well being.
So many people avoid planning for emergencies. Perhaps they avoid the dreadful thought that they may lose control of their bodies or their lives. I wish they could have tea with this grand lady and see how lovely it can be to plan your own care. After all, when we asked her what she would like us to bring to hospital if she were admitted, she included: “I do like music particularly the symphonies, string quartets and concerti of Beethoven and Brahms. The poems of TS Eliot and Robert Frost would be of interest. Some fruit and nuts would be welcome.” And, parenthetically, “You might add a good cookie.”
She shall have it.
If you want to be as prepared as this impressive woman, here is a list what to do. The flair must be your own.
Write down this information, keep it up to date, and share it with loved ones and your near-at-hand emergency contact. Also post it on the door of the refrigerator since that is where emergency responders are trained to check:
- Medications you are taking, including nonprescription ones
- Medical history
- Insurance information
- Contact information for your primary care physician
- Contact information of your loved ones
- Contact information for your chosen emergency medical care advocate
- HIPAA form or statement listing people you authorize to be informed about your health care
- Advance medical directive
- Do Not Resuscitate order (PDF), if you have chosen to have one
- Power of Attorney documentation, if applicable
- A list of comforts you would like if you admitted to the hospital (reading glasses, etc.)