A caregiver and senior in a New York assisted living facility.

Tips to Handle Medical Emergencies as a Caregiver

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It is perfectly normal for you to take extra care of your favorite senior, especially when you receive news that they are suffering from a serious medical condition. Helping with meal preparation, feeding them, making their bed, reading to them, etc are done with care. However, with medical conditions come the chances of medical emergencies. Therefore, you need to be clear on every aspect relating to handling medical emergencies.

The primary rule that needs to be adhered to in case of medical emergencies is to keep calm. Understand that panicking will prevent you from thinking clearly. Also, it may scare the patient. The tips shared below can help you to be better prepared for future medical emergencies.


Tips To Handle A Medical Emergency As A Caregiver 

There are many variables that can go wrong while caregiving and there are no ways to exactly predict all of them. However, the below tips from professional caregivers in senior care and assisted living facilities can help you mitigate missteps.


Have A Checklist Of Necessities 

Make sure to have a mobile phone that is fully charged, first aid kits, cash, emergency contact details, and a list of current medications. Besides, keep the phone numbers and names of all the doctors of the person in a visible place. If your senior loved one is suffering from a heart condition, you need to be familiar with using a defibrillator and have one handy. If you are the home caregiver of the person, it will be good to be trained in performing CPR. If the senior is still independent and requires only sporadic care, then you need to ensure that the person has a medical ID bracelet.


Understand The Conditions That Can Accelerate The Imminence Of Falls 

If the senior takes any blood thinner medications and suffers from a fall, it is important to provide medical care immediately. This should be provided even if there is no visible bleeding or bruising. The risks of fracturing bones are higher in the case of those seniors who are above the age of 65 years. Therefore, do not think that the pain will subside on its own. Some of the other factors that can increase the risk of falls include Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, dementia, heart problems, and some medications.


Learn What To Do In Case Of Medication Overdose 

Medication overdose calls for dialing 911 right away. You can then read the instructions given on the back of the medication on improving the situation. You need to be extra careful if you are caring for a patient with mental problems who is on many medications. Some of the most common signs of medication overdose include changes in temperature, nausea, tiredness, abdominal pain, confusion, changes in breathing, increased pulse, and seizures, etc.

Make sure to take the bottle of medication that the person overdosed when taking the senior to the emergency room of the nearest health facility. Making yourself familiar with abbreviations and understanding the differences between a milligram and a milliliter can help prevent accidental drug overdose.


Understand The Symptoms Of Stroke Or Heart Attack 

If your senior loved one is experiencing jaw or neck pain, chest tightness, numbness on one side of the face, slurred speech, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, blurred vision, or cold sweat, call for emergency help. While waiting for the paramedics to arrive, help the senior sit in an upright position and begin to unfasten their clothing, especially nera their neck and waist. Moreover, if the person is conscious, you can make him or her chew on an aspirin tablet, as it can help mitigate the risk of blood clots. If the person is unconscious, you need to call 911 and start CPR immediately.


Have Copies Of Medical Records Handy 

In case of scheduled doctor appointments for your senior loved one, the facility will have the file of the person with details on medication, previous treatment, and complications of their condition. Although this will not be the case when the person is rushed to the ER of the closest medical facility. The medical office might not have the vital background details of the elder adult and therefore, you need to keep the medical records handy.

Even if you are familiar with the vital details, it is always possible to draw a blank when you are under stress. Therefore, err on the side of caution and make sure to provide the emergency personnel with the necessary details to save the life of your loved one.

As a caregiver, the tips shared above will surely come in handy. Experienced caregivers in senior care and assisted living communities near you will be able to help if you are caring for a senior loved one. You may get in touch with assisted living or senior care facilities in your area to ensure the wellbeing of your senior loved one.

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