Pella Chronicle

Health

May 3, 2013

How to prepare for the transition from child to decision-maker

(Continued)

Pella —

You’ll also want to be sure the community you select provides person-directed care designed to promote the health, independence and dignity of all residents. Residents of such communities usually benefit from being part of a close-knit group of people and from having the opportunity to make decisions about their daily routines.  These communities value having family engagement and participation. 
 
What You Should Know About Your Parents
The more information you have about your parents, the better you will be able to assist them, especially if something unexpected happens. Here are some tips on what information to gather now before you are faced with an unplanned event:
-Birth dates, social security number, and insurance information. Medical records and insurance information often are catalogued according to birth date and social security number. Knowing this information may help improve communication. It’s also helpful to know the name and phone number of your parents’ health insurance provider, as well as their policy numbers.
-Medical conditions and allergies. Your parents are likely to get better coordinated medical care if you can provide information about their medical conditions such as heart disease or diabetes, along with past surgeries and major medical procedures such as implantation of a pacemaker. Having a list of known allergies also may prove valuable during an emergency, especially if a parent is allergic to specific medications such as codeine or penicillin.
-Medications and supplements. This information is essential when weighing treatment options during an emergency. Blood thinners, for example, could lead to heavy bleeding. Plus, certain vitamins or herbal supplements could interact with medications given in an emergency situation.
-Your parents’ doctors. Make a list of all your parents’ physicians, including names and contact information. The doctors who best know your parents can likely provide specific details about their heath histories, medications and important facts.

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