One of the most important duties of a caregiver is to ensure your loved one always has the care and companionship she needs. Sometimes that means lining up emergency care for times when you can’t be there yourself. It’s always good to plan ahead, but sometimes there is simply no way to avoid a sudden change in plans. Imagine a situation in which you suddenly need to make a last-minute appointment for yourself or another family member. Perhaps you are called into a meeting on your day off. Do you have a plan in place for such emergencies?
Reuters reports that two-fifths of adults in the US currently serve as caregivers for family members who are aging, chronically ill, or disabled. Caregivers know that unexpected events can happen at any time. Having a plan and being confident in your solution are key to reducing stress when an emergency does occur.
Care Alternatives in an Emergency
If your loved one relies on care from an agency, there’s good news: In times of emergency, regular clients are typically sent alternate caregivers. If not, consider these options:
- Call a friend, neighbor, or family member. Perhaps the best situation is when a trusted friend or family member can offer to step in and help your loved one. By thinking ahead, you can find someone who knows your senior and is comfortable being on call if needed.
- Consider training younger family members. Seniors who need assistance with daily activities can be safely left with responsible younger family members when help is only a button’s press away. If you live with or know any responsible young people, it might be possible to train them to care for your loved one for a few hours at a time. Knowing they’re comfortable caring for your loved one can greatly reduce stress in an emergency situation.
- Reach out to the community. Call your local Agency on Aging or long-term care facility for last-minute care recommendations. Additionally, websites like Care.com offer sitters, trained assistants, and even nurses for seniors. Be sure that the website you choose offers background checks. That way, you can be comfortable knowing that anyone sent to your home will treat your senior with respect and care.
Safety and Peace of Mind for Caregivers
Many seniors can be left alone for short periods of time, provided they have the right tools to stay safe. An emergency alert pendant or bracelet can ensure your loved one’s safety, and grant you the peace of mind you need. If your loved one requires constant support, a medical alert system can help to ease your concerns about leaving him with a new caregiver. For example, Lifeline’s On the Go medical alert system uses a pendant that enables your senior to call for help while away from home, so they may stay with a friend or trusted neighbor in an emergency.
Finding a qualified emergency caregiver may seem complicated and stressful — but with the right planning, it can be done. By considering the options available, you can take much of the stress out of finding emergency care, granting you some peace when you need it the most.