Setting up a simple carer's emergency plan
If you look after someone it can be helpful to create an Emergency Plan, ahead of an actual emergency!
Suzanne - our Head of Carer Support and a carer herself - has been through the process. And has created a simple template to capture your emergency plan.
Suzanne cares for her husband Matt who was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson's 16 years ago. She's been updating her Carers Emergency Plan as a way to adapt for Covid-19. She has also created a simple template that you can use to create your own carer's emergency plan.
There is a great plan in my head about what our family would do if I was suddenly taken ill or in an accident. I even went so far as to get a carer's emergency plan set up with our local carers organisation.
This always seemed like a big job to do, but once I’d sat down with someone who helped me gather all the information together it wasn’t as hard as I had thought. Once it was completed I was rewarded with that “peace of mind” feeling.
My husband’s medication and care needs have changed, so I know I need to update my carers emergency plan. Changes in situation can also be a trigger to make an update, such as the Coronavirus pandemic. Some questions that this change in circumstance raise are:
What if I need to self-isolate?
Our back-up team of grandparents might not be the best people to come and help us out now.
My husband’s care needs may not be a priority when there are many others with more complex situations who will need support from local services.
So I’m taking a fresh look at my carers emergency plan. As always I want to keep it super simple otherwise I’ll lose momentum. Here is my step by step approach:
What information do I know from memory?
What information do I need to look up?
What needs a bit more thought and discussion? There are other people to be involved here (husband, children, parents)
Who can help, and with what?
What practical steps do I need to take - e.g. who will have a copy, who has a spare door key?
How can I keep it up to date?
What else can I do to be “ready for anything!”?
Keep it simple
When I started to look into making my plan I got a little distracted by some other useful things like “Medic Alert” and the “Message in a bottle scheme”. I found information that advised me to contact my local carers organisation, get a care needs assessment for my husband and create a care plan for him, or even create an emergency health care plan. I’m sure some of these things will be relevant and useful to me but they were making the task seem more complicated.
My advice is to work on this first - and then you can do more later and it doesn't need to take you very long.
Use our template to create a plan today
Rather than starting from scratch - download Suzanne's template for creating an easy emergency plan.
Since this was written we have created some other resources that might be helpful as you create your emergency plan:
A list of emergency and useful numbers - with room to add your own