In Case Of an Emergency

In the event of a medical emergency, the first priority is, of course, to get in touch with someone who can assist you. Assuming the worst case scenario is the best way to approach your emergency preparedness: a good plan will be effective in spite of losing consciousness, vision, or speech. There are a number of medical alert systems available for summoning medical assistance or an assigned caregiver to the home of a senior. These systems, most of which operate by pushing a button that can be worn on the person that then connects to a base station, are more reliable than reaching for the telephone, as falls, accidents or emergencies could preclude a senior from reaching the phone. Medical alert systems, however, put the base station on speaker, so both the senior and operator can hear one another. Medical alert systems should be chosen carefully: most are upfront and honest about their prices, and stress that they will not take advantage. However, it is still important to be thorough in selecting one.

In addition to a medical alert system, it is smart to have a plan in place with whoever is your point of contact among friends and family. This person should know what to do if you have a medical emergency, and should either always be available to assist, or have the ability to send someone else in their place if necessary. Another good idea for seniors living alone is to have a scheduled phone call, e-mail, or text message with a caretaker. If they do not hear from you in a set number of days or hours, they will come to check up on you.

Of course, it is important to stay calm in any medical emergency. Knowing you have a plan in place will help, but it is also a good idea to practice mediation, deep breathing, or calming techniques to call on in moments of distress or confusion. Keeping one’s heart rate and breathing steady will be of great benefit, and has the potential to decrease damage in medical emergencies.

Wearing a watch is also a good idea. This way, once you are being assisted, you will have as much information as possible. Knowing when the emergency began, or when certain symptoms began or how long they lasted, will be of great asset to whoever comes to your aid.

Knowing what emergencies are more likely to befall you is invaluable in terms of preparation. If you have a history of fainting, high blood pressure, certain allergies, poor coordination, etc. one can work with a caregiver or medical professional to determine what you are most at risk for. This will help cut down on the likelihood of medical emergencies, but could also decrease damage, if one is prepared for specific situations.