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All too many times overwhelmed caregivers are physically and emotionally depleted and need to take time to rest and care for themselves. Believing in a holistic approach to caregiver stress and a strong commitment to helping our members find the right solutions, we created this blog to help you connect with others who, like you, may be facing the same eldercare issues and challenges. Feel free to comment, ask questions, and submit articles. Please forward the blog link to your family and friends. They'll be glad you did.

Warm regards,

Patricia Grace
founder & CEO
Aging with Grace

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The importance of carrying medical identification

By: Patricia Grace, National Senior Care Examiner

Will I have a heart attack today…a stroke…a diabetic coma…a seizure? Most of us never ask this question simply because we cannot answer it. Additionally, most of us would prefer to go about our day without such worry. Asking that question, however, is an important step in moving us toward preparedness for the possibility of some unforeseen medical event.

In truth, most of us live, work, and play without a thought to the possibility of a catastrophic medical event. Imagine you are shopping alone in a place distant from your home area and you collapse with a stroke, rendering you disoriented and unable to speak. Far from home, bystanders call paramedics who take you to an unfamiliar hospital. As your treatment begins, paramedics and hospital personnel ask questions, trying to gather more information about you, but are hindered by a lack of background information. Good health care relies on gathering and using information, so the EMT’s search you for identification.

What do you carry that would help paramedics and emergency personnel understand your unique medical background and help further your emergency care? How would hospital personnel learn quickly that you have a loving husband and daughter who know everything about you and who need to be with you in this circumstance? Most of us carry nothing in our wallet aside from a driver’s license that would offer more than our name and address. Do you have any health problems, medications, allergies, emergency contacts, or health care directives? Most of this information is crucial to good care and unlikely to be located in our wallet or purse.
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