Create a form together for all members to take home and fill out. Bring additional ideas to our Facilitator Retreat in Appleton!
At a recent Caregiver Support Group meeting, the importance of having a plan in place for emergency situations was a topic of discussion, and for good reason – planning can reduce anxiety! Knowing there is a plan in place for various types of emergencies or unplanned issues can bring peace of mind to both the caregiver and the person managing PD. Here are some examples of discussion topics you can have with your members in helping them to make a plan for unusual or critical issues:
Common concerns for those managing PD include:
- If a caregiver falls, who will help the person with PD manage the situation, as they may not have the strength to help them up or care for first aid needs? Who will they be able to contact for assistance – a neighbor, a family member? Have at least two options as part of a back-up plan.
- If a caregiver does not return home at an expected time, and is not responding to text or phone calls, how can the person with PD get assistance in locating them or assuring they are ok? Perhaps a neighbor can be assigned to check on the Parkinson’s patient whenever the caregiver is away for extended times.
- If a caregiver is placed in a rehabilitation facility or other off site placement in the event of illness, who will care for the person with PD?
- Will it be a family member? If so, you can have the family member meet with you to design a plan in the event of this type of emergency, then the plan is ready to go and everyone is on board with no last minute scrambling to address this issue.
- If it will be respite care, and many organizations offer temporary respite care for even a few weeks at a time, but pre-assessment and registration is required for emergency placement, so this should be part of the plan. Check out facilities to find the best fit before an emergency arises!
Common caregiver concerns are similar:
- What will happen if my loved one falls and I am not capable of helping them up from the floor? Or if they are injured, and you cannot get them to an appropriate care facility, like urgent care or a clinic, yet it is not serious enough to call an ambulance? Is there a neighbor or family member near enough to help at various times of the day? Make a list and talk to the designated helpers so they know an unexpected call might come to them.
- What if my loved one’s condition begins to decline more rapidly than we thought it would. Who can help you to plan for future care, legal and financial needs? It is never too early to start looking at options, and while it is a difficult discussion, it makes things much easier if things do change quickly. There is peace of mind in knowing that the place you have chosen was one your loved one approved of and you knew the costs in advance to help plan for that aspect as well.
Often anxiety occurs when we think about what might happen and wonder how we will get help. It may cause unnecessary worry throughout the day. Having a basic plan in place, with resources readily available, can put that anxiety to rest, knowing there is a plan in place and readily accessible.