We’re all guilty of it …the “Should’ve” factor; knowing ahead of time that we should’ve done this or that, and for a million reasons, we didn’t, only to pay a price for it later.
Assisted living traditionally provides the means for someone to carry on their life as normal …independence in tact and in control of their daily routine and travels, while also being reassured that help is close by if necessary.
There are some things, however, that residents of an Assisted Living environment should provide for themselves, and a clear, accurate, up to date emergency medical outline is one of those things. While the administration and staff of an Independent or Assisted Living facility typically maintain an ’emergency card’ on file, even if it contains a moderate amount of medical information, they often lack a full ‘snapshot’ that’s current, complete and able to travel with you should you need to go to an emergency room.
As Betty’s story explains, even a minor medical crisis can be aided by having a complete medical outline available.
I was conscious …hadn’t hit my head or anything, and I could have certainly told them anything they wanted to know
Betty was in her early 80’s and lived comfortably in what was originally called a ‘retirement’ complex, now considered assisted living.
She had her own apartment, could cook simple meals for herself (or join others in the dining room) and enjoyed the independent living atmosphere with the added bonus of on-site social activities and transportation to the grocery store, or for a doctor’s appointment.
Betty had much to be grateful for; she was healthy, generally strong and had a quick mind. Unlike many of her friends, she only took a couple of medications for blood pressure and cholesterol, and maintained an active lifestyle with moderate exercise. You could say Better felt somewhat ahead of the game, all things considered.
The frequency of fire paramedics rolling in through the lobby became a familiar sight, as in near daily, so when Betty and others had the opportunity to complete a personal medical outline, she didn’t hesitate. She didn’t have any reason to suspect that she was at risk of a 911 call, but just the same, thought it was a good idea just in case.
Nearly six months later, Betty took a rather awkward, semi-braced fall in her apartment. While she didn’t feel she had broken anything, she was having difficulty getting up …she pushed her call alert button.
In standard fashion, the paramedics arrived and were escorted to her apartment by staff, at which point they began to assess her and asked if, like many of the other residents, she had a printed medical outline. “Oh yes,” Betty replied, “Right on the refrigerator.”
Just to be safe and to ensure she hadn’t suffered a small fracture anywhere, the paramedics transported Betty to the ER for x-rays and an exam.
The next day, Betty called me to tell me what had happened and how much she appreciated having her emergency medical outline.
“I was conscious …hadn’t hit my head or anything, and I could have certainly told them anything they wanted to know,” Betty said, then added, “but it was so nice that I didn’t have to. They had everything they needed and we were on our way to the ER in no time at all. They took my outline with them and when the ER doctor came in to see me, he had it in his hand, so his questions were just about my fall and a few questions about pain.”
“So it wasn’t a stressful thing for you, Betty?” I asked.
“None whatsoever, really.” she replied, continuing, “I can tell you that had I really been in pain, or suffered something really bad, I would be even more grateful that I didn’t have to communicate much. It worked exactly as you said it would and the paramedics were really happy that I had it!”
Expect all the best, but prepare for the unexpected
Accidents happen when we least expect and for some, the risk of a medical emergency is greater than for others.
There are millions of ‘Betty’s’ out there and our mission is to educate every one of them we can find. If you’d prefer not to use our 911Snapshot™ outlines, then download our free ebook and get the facts about how to create (and keep up to date!) your own.
You or someone you love will be glad you did. And if you have an occasion to use your outline, tell us about your experience!
If you’ve got questions we can answer to help get you started, ask away through the comment tab, or simply post in the comments section below. Someone else may have the same question running through their mind.
In the meanwhile, be safe, be healthy and be your own best advocate!
Want to know more about 911Snapshot™, take a quick look at our new welcome video for a brief overview!