Long Distance Care: Managing Emergency Care for an Aging Loved One

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How to Handle Long-Distance Emergency Care Situations

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When you care for an aging parent who lives out-of-state, you can never be over prepared for an emergency. Even a minor injury or illness can leave you scrambling to communicate with physicians and nurses while trying to ensure your loved one’s safety upon their arrival home from the hospital or emergency room. While you can expect a few challenges during the first few days following an emergency health situation, Home Care Assistance Sonoma County offers tips that will help you manage your parent’s long-distance care.
Have an Emergency Care Action Plan

Before an emergency occurs, it is best to already have a plan in place. Identify people who can be a source of support and compile a list of phone numbers. Then, be sure each person on the list has a way to contact other members of your support network. If your aging loved one has current health conditions that could lead to a need for emergency care, then make sure each member of your team understands his or her diagnosis, current medications and the proper first-aid techniques to keep them safe until emergency personnel can arrive.

Communicate with the Medical Team

One of the biggest challenges of long-distance emergency care is communicating with the medical team at your loved one’s hospital. Make sure that you are listed as the emergency contact in your parent’s health records, and consider appointing an additional caregiver who can stand in for you during your absence. When your loved one is ready to leave the hospital, speak to a discharge nurse who can provide you with the appropriate instructions for after-care.

Plan for Post-Hospital Care

The first few weeks after being discharged from the hospital are crucial for your loved one’s recovery. Using the discharge instructions given to you by the medical team, make arrangements to ensure your loved one takes their medication on time, has transportation to and from their medical appointments and has a safe way to maneuver throughout their home. You may also want to consider a local home care provider who can provide post-hospital home care in Sonoma County to further maximize your loved one’s safety and comfort.

When you take the time to plan for your loved one’s care before, during and after an emergency situation, you can ensure that everyone on your support team understands how to help them have the best possible recovery until you can be there.

For more information about live-in or part-time home care in Sonoma County, contact Home Care Assistance at 707-843-4368. Our friendly Case Managers are available 24/7 to answer your questions and can also help you arrange a complimentary consultation to learn more about our services.