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No one know when a medical crisis or emergency will strike. This year 2020, has been extremely difficult as many families have been faced with sudden illness or even the loss of a loved one. As we are all aware, there’s lots going on!

Friends and families have been dealing with long term sickness and the loss of financial stability. Illness or some sort of disability that can strike without warning. Not only that, but you might be faced with taking on the responsibility of caring for a loved one. There are many questions to ask, so, where do you begin?

Update Information and Protect Your Loved One

After the new year might be a good time to brush up and update paperwork, health directives, living will, and plans in case of extreme emergency. Make lists of doctors and important phone numbers that might be needed in case of emergency. That’s just for your own direct family. If you are a caregiver, its more important to make a current list of all doctors, medications, immediate needs, and managing financial documents.

The AARP has put together an article that helps caregivers compile a checklist with legal and financial information geared to protect your relative’s legal rights — and your own. It also helps give you ideas on exploring financial help or discovering benefits available for your loved one.

Get Your Own Affairs in Order

If you recognize the importance of getting affairs in order, and are fully able to, the National Institute of Aging has put together a PDF that is quite helpful and detailed. It introduces ‘the important paper’ that can itemize all the information a family needs in any emergency.

If it is financial information needed for your caregiver journey Merrill Lynch has prepared information to help you prepare for what may be one of the most important role of your life.

Emergency Preparedness

Getting a handle on your own affairs is also addressed in the National Institute of Ageing for advanced care planning. This is an important step in making sure your own affairs are in order. This includes how to create documents that precisely communicate healthcare, financial management and end of life choices for yourself and those you are caring for. Since circumstances can change rapidly these plans need to be reviewed on a regular basis.

Remember, advance care planning is not just about being old. A medical crisis could arise suddenly, and one day it is possible you could be too ill to make your own healthcare decisions. If right now if being sick is the farthest thing from your mind, planning for health care in the future is an important step towards being sure you get the medical care that is your personal choice in the event you are unable to speak for yourself. That would put doctors and family members in charge of making the decisions for you. Planning for any future health emergency for personal self or a loved one should be the number one resolution accomplished when the new year begins. As always GoldLeaf Home Health is here to assist and lighten the load in any way possible.