Elderly Care: When A Senior Parent Needs Emergency Care
White Plains, NY (Law Firm Newswire) July 12, 2013 - The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) has released tips for the adult children of elderly parents who find themselves facing a medical crisis.
The emergency room can be a daunting experience. These tips may make the experience slightly less stressful.
When possible, the caregiver or accompanying adult should bring a completed Medical History Form to the emergency room. The form should list any allergies, the medications the elderly person is taking, and both past and current medical conditions. This form should be given to the intake attendant.
In addition to the Medical History Form, have on hand a list of the medical health professionals the elderly patient sees, such as cardiologist, oncologist, etc. Have their names and contact information written down, as well as the reasons for their care and how long the elder has been under their care. Also include any information about recent surgeries, such as pace makers or hip replacements, and include complete insurance and identifying information.
The emergency physicians also suggest that any caregiver or attending adult bring a change of clothing and personal items, and should expect that the elderly individual will be admitted for overnight or extended care. While this may not happen, arriving prepared will save time and effort later. The items can always be left in the car "just in case." Also, caregivers may wish to bring reading material to pass the time while the patient is waiting to be seen or for test results. Elderly patients make take longer than expected to have a complete workup, especially if they have multiple issues or complaints which must be investigated.
The ACEP also suggests that the caregiver clarify to the attending physician if the patient's state of mind is altered or if they are confused. If the caregiver is given information and instructions, they should share that information with the patient; work to keep them informed and allow them to make their own medical care choices.
Many elderly patients downplay their symptoms when in the ER, doctors report. Be prepared and willing to clarify with additional information, if needed.
And long before that trip to the ER is a possibility, they say, consider discussing with the elderly parent about the possibility of their drafting a living will. When in the midst of tough decision-making, such as when the condition is a life-threatening one, it can make a significant difference in how family members approach some choices that must be made.
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Littman Krooks LLP provides sophisticated legal advice and the high level of expertise ordinarily associated with large law firms along with the personal attention and responsiveness of smaller firms. These ingredients, which are the cornerstone of effective representation and necessary to a successful lawyer/client relationship, have become the foundation of the firm’s success.
Littman Krooks LLP offers legal services in several areas of law, including elder law, estate planning, special needs planning, special education advocacy, and corporate and securities. Their offices are located at 399 Knollwood Road, White Plains, New York; 655 Third Avenue, New York, New York; and 300 Westage Business Center Drive, Fishkill, New York. For more information about Littman Krooks LLP, visit the website at: www.littmankrooks.com.
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