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I am the closest person to our LO that my significant other and I care for. I work legit 3 minutes away from our home and my SO is all over the valley sometimes almost an hour away depending on traffic. He works with his father and all of his other family is 30-50 minutes away.


Because of this I will be the first person to act on an emergency situation and we've all made note of that. They've all told me it will be okay because the hospital isn't far away but even then I will still be the only one at the hospital.


What can/do I need to do to prepared myself? Is there an emergency bag I can prepare? Videos? I really have no idea what I'm doing. I know I won't have a panic melt down or anything like that but I would like to be somewhat prepared for anything and everything possible.

I’m not currently in a caregiver situation but I still have a personal “go bag” in my car at all times. Since I’m the only one in our household taking medication that list is in my wallet. My go bag contains an extra set of charging cords for table and phone, a couple of protein breakfast bars, some type of snack (nuts or crackers), flavored water a book for my husband and a crochet project for me. Also in my car are a blanket & extra sweatshirt just in case. This all came in handy when he got a call from his youngest sister that she was in the ER in a neighboring state with their other sister and we should come. He was just getting off work from driving all night and I was on my way to work. I was able to turn around and meet him at the house. I was about 15 minutes ahead of him so I grabbed him a change of clothes and as soon as he pulled in we were off. We were two very long days sitting in her ICU room or waiting rooms.
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Reply to EllensOnly
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Having a emergency bag packed, or at least a list, is a great idea.
You also need a POLST form completed by patient and/or family and signed by the physician. POLST stands for Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment. That is one of the first questions the EMTs will ask. They recommend that these forms be placed on the refrigerator. They will also need to know a brief medical history and what meds he is on. Has he had heart attacks? Is he on blood thinners? Does he have and hardware, stents ports, etc in his body? Does he use inhalers? etc.
They will ask for POA name & contact numbers, Insurance cards & ID card.

Always keep hallways clear enough to pass a gurney through easily. In a life-threatening time, you do not want to have to move furniture for EMTs to get in or out!
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Reply to Canyon727
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If there is a situation of life/death the hospital will go ahead just like you see on TV but if he has broken an arm/leg then he will stay in pain until P.O.A. arrives - if they won't give you any information to help then tell them to take your name off the list the to-call list because why are you on it? -

If they want you to help [& stress that you are willing] then they must trust you with the information to help - tell them you will sign a paper that it is only temporary help BUT what if P.O.A. is not reachable due to being on vacation/out of cell range etc then who is responsible? - they are putting the LO in a situation where they could be in unnecessary lying in pain with a non-life threatening injury for hours until P.O.A. shows up

I hope SO scoops you up because you sound like a 'keeper' by being so caring - keep it up no matter who says 'no' because caring matters - good luck
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Reply to moecam
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No I have no relation to him. He also cannot take care of himself anymore. We have to do everything because it is hard for him to move about the house and if he falls he can't get up. Just today he called me home from work to help him up. I'm a small girl so I took one of my coworkers with me.
My SO's family is incredibly grateful for me moving in. It had been the two boys for many years and you could tell they needed help. My SO was also so young and his grandfather didn't need our assistance until this past year after his grandmother died and his health severly declined. Our POA just thinks that we are immature and don't understand what's going on but we are trying to learn , prepare, and coordinate so that we have a better understanding. She keeps not only me but also my SO out of the loop on everything even though we are the ONLY ones handling his day to day living, helping him take his meds, and making sure he eats healthy/at all. He gets confused more and more lately. He can't even make a sandwhich because he can't find the silverware that have been in the same place for 15 years.
She says I shouldn't need access to any of this stuff becaus she and other family will arrive shortly after me(minimal 40 minutes). I'm just trying to plan for worst case senarios and she's not helping me at all. Our LO is going to talk to her about it but he doesn't think anything bad will happen to him either.
He even laughed at me for being concerned about him falling and hitting his head. He said oh I'll be fine I'm tough. Like omg.. I'm scared one of these days I'm going to get home after work or during lunch and find him... I've even began to soften all of the hard corners in our house because I'm so stressed. My SO understands why I'm so paranoid but he thinks I'm overboard with the corners which I probably am but geeze.. This is more stress than I've ever had to deal with before.
This is my family now and I'm struggling to take care of it. My SO is burnout my LO keeps falling, and I'm in no control of anything.
My SO & LO are helping me get all of the information we need for the emergency bag and I'm so thankful you all have helped me with what needs to go in it.
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Reply to Chloe99
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We just went through this on Tuesday and having the POA, both medical and durable, and meds list with us was a huge help. Having some of his meds with us helped as well because they did not have the form he takes of his Parkinson's med and so we were able to give it to him. I wrote mine and hubby's phone #s on a bright colored index card and propped it on the white board so it is very visible and they easily know how to reach us.
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Reply to msfits
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You are not married to Earl's grandson? Then you really are no relation at all. If the POA tells you to butt out, what recourse do you have? Will she sign a paper giving you authorization to act in his behalf until she or another family member gets there? You said she doesn't like you being "nosy" in the family's business. She obviously doesn't like you shacking up in her relative's house.

HIPPA laws limit what information a doctor can give you. Legally, you are no different than a neighbor or someone who found him on the street.

I always take a book, and cell phone charger. One great thing about my two hospitals is, they have plenty of electric outlets. If you have time, grab something to drink and maybe a nutrition bar for yourself. Remember, don't give the patient any food or liquid in case they want to do surgery. Where I live the hospitals are great on furnishing blankets, pillows, etc for me and hubby. If he is sick enough to be in the hospital, he probably doesn't want to do anything except lay there and maybe watch TV.
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Reply to MaryKathleen
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Yes prepare a bag - in it have a signed form from whoever is medical P.O.A. saying that you can initiate care until they arrive & have it witnessed plus any other documentation that you think you would need like insurance numbers etc just like what you would do if send a kid to summer camp of a week

Then put some money for parking, going to get a coffee etc for yourself - add a light book [short stories or such] that doesn't need concentration - an empty water bottle for yourself & maybe a granola bar [don't feed a hospital patient without permission] - if your LO is aware then take cards to play a game to take their mind off being there - if unaware put in a crossword book [or such sort of thing] for yourself because sitting at a hospital with someone who doesn't communicate is draining on your strength [been there] because doing games on cell phone drains the battery

Put in pad & paper to take notes of every items done along with the dr's name & contact info then you can give it to P.O.A. when they get there - if you take regular meds yourself then put only the essentials 'just in case'

If you have anything that keeps cell battery up put that in too - then take all of it & put in a bright bag [easy to find] & put it on shelf in front closet - tape notes [bring cell phone, take meds, etc] to it for things you need to add at last minute otherwise in a crisis they will be forgotten - then sit back & relax knowing that you have done what you can for now - on the law of perversity, by doing it then you won't need it but if you don't then you will - hope this helps
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Reply to moecam
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Hi Chloe, I have a bag packed with my husband’s cell ( it’s a dinosaur but he knows how to access his contact list & make/receive calls from his Marine Corps buddies,slippers,diaper briefs ( he’s not comfortable w/the hospital salmon colored diapers,) ,his shampoo,a bar of soap,a cozy fleece throw ( he’s always cold & it’s a reminder of home ),a small plastic sleeve of our new granddaughter’s pictures,MOST IMPORTANTLY his living will,advanced directives & POA.I carry a list of his meds with me ( makes it easy for both me & the nurse ! ),my iPad & Charger,fruit/nuts for me,& a change of clothes &.extra meds for me,since I live farther away than you do from the hospital & sometimes end up staying overnight.
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Reply to MBinPA
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I kept a tote bag ready for things my Mom or I might need. I had pen/paper, her id's and cards, medication list, doctor numbers etc. I also kept some granola bars, a small bottle of water, and some reading material for myself as often you sit for a long time in the ER waiting for results and doctors. And make sure you have your phone for outside communication.
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Reply to Katie22
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If your loved one (LO) is not living with you, you really are not caring for him. He's caring for himself. they can fall on the floor and have no way to communicate that. If they are still "with it"enough to use a medical alert button, then get it for him. Problem is they may forget to wear the button and end up falling with no means of summoning help and be down for hours..or even the entire day. With that respect it is a false sense of security. Meanwhile your LO is down on the ground with possibly a broken hip.
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Reply to cetude
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JoAnn29,
No we are not the POAs we just live with Earl(I've been there over a year), take care of him, and watch him hide his issues from his POA. His POA is my significant other's older cousin. Earl is my SO's grandfather(adopted father) so I am just the future granddaughter/daughter in law. His cousin doesn't see the issues and doesn't believe that there is anything wrong because not only does Earl hide his issues from her but he tells his doctor everything is fine as well. She thinks we're overracting and has been quite rude about me trying to prepare for the hospital visits(emergency kit/info/permissions) and being so "nosey" in their business.
We think he is beginning to get parkinsons disease but no one will listen to us. He hasn't been sleeping and he's been talking about how he doesn't know how his blankets always end up so messed up/on the floor and he falls out of bed, his hand has a really bad tremor, and a few other things that point to it. We don't know what to do here.
Earl's kids are in another state and his son works with my SO(his biological father) but he's not a good character and has never helped us in any way.
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Reply to Chloe99
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You and SO are not the POAs? If ur going to be the one at the hospital then you need something saying you have a say in his treatment. If LO is out of it, you need someone authorized to sign forms.

Just curious, where are this man's children?
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Thank you, caring4alice! That was incredibly helpful. I have our POA helping me set that up now.
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Reply to Chloe99
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I'd venture to say most of us started caregiving with no idea what we were doing. Good thing we all found each other here! This article is really helpful.
https://www.agingcare.com/articles/the-emergency-medical-file-every-caregiver-should-create-428239.htm
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Reply to Caring4Alice
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