If you are a carer, it is essential that you plan for emergencies to help you and your loved one cope. Have you asked yourself, “what would the person I care for do if I suddenly had to go somewhere else for a while?” or “who would know what to do if I suddenly had to leave?”. We’ve compiled some resources that will help you get started in your planning.
If you are seeking urgent medical care for the person you care for or yourself now, please call triple zero (000).
Why is planning for the unexpected essential as a carer?
Everyday is different for a carer. You could have a great day one day and face a big challenge the next day. It may be hard to find help if you find yourself without a plan when something changes in your caring situation. This can affect your health, family and financial situation, which is why it is important for carers to create a plan for when things unexpectedly happen. For example, you may have to leave home suddenly, or the person you care for may experience a decline in their mental health. Creating a back up plan can help you find your bearings and be prepared for these potential situations.
Planning for emergencies does not have to be as time consuming or daunting. You do not have to create a plan on your own and can get support and assistance from Carer Gateway. By calling the Carer Gateway line, they can determine what supports and services you are eligible for and create a personalised carer support plan. They will recommend options that suit you and your situation and you will have the option to utilise these services when you feel they are needed. The next step in being ready for the unexpected is by preparing an emergency plan.
An emergency care plan will provide you with:
- Peace of mind and reduced stress in the long run
- Knowledge of how to manage in a crisis
- An efficient and effective back-up plan
Preparing an Emergency Care Plan
By creating an emergency care plan, you are ensuring you are prepared for unexpected events in your caring role. This plan will include all the information needed about the person you care for in one file so it can be easily accessed. This ensures that someone else has the information they need to take over the caring role if you are in a hurry or need to attend to an emergency elsewhere.
Tips on maximising the efficiency of your emergency care plan include:
- Ensuring it is easily accessible so a temporary support can access it quickly and easily.
- Having a step by step document of how to care for your loved one.
- Including information on medical history, medication, dosage, storage and associated side effects.
- Including the contact details of family and friends who can step into the caring role during the emergency and contact details of your loved one’s GP or other health professionals.
- Include a list on a familiar routine: what they usually eat and drink, personal care, regular support services they receive.
- Information on any appointment times, dates and locations.
- Giving case workers and health care professionals a copy of the plan.
- Updating the care plan regularly.
- Keeping an updated carer emergency card in your purse, wallet or carry bag, and a care recipient emergency care card in their purse, wallet or carry bag.
To read more about planning a person’s care and support with health services and care coordination, visit the Carer Gateway website.
If you would like to know information regarding legal rights for your caring role, how you should be treated and the legal affairs of the person you care for, click here.
Please read the Carer Gateway FAQ sheet for more information about how we can assist in emergency situations and general information.