Essentials for Elder Wellness and Safety

How do we begin?

When it comes to elder wellness and safety, the list of areas needing attention is long. Let’s start with “being prepared.” The first step is knowing where the risks are. Once we determine your areas of vulnerability, we can identify what to address first.

Emergency Preparedness: Make sure your wishes are known for when the time comes.

Although your legal documents may be in order, your medical preparedness may need some attention. Having your medical history, medication list, and your medical directives readily available for first responders is essential in keeping you “in control” when a medical emergency occurs.

Your selection of Health Care Proxy and completion of a MOLST Form are key in having your wishes followed, if and when you are unable to be your own advocate. Your Health Care Proxy is the person you choose to be your decision maker in a medical crisis. The MOLST Form, or Medical Orders of Life Sustaining Treatment, is your road map of wishes for medical intervention.

If 911 is called to your home, and your emergency information is not readily available, decisions may be made by Physicians at the hospital who have never met you before. Part of “being prepared” is having your medical information and your own personal decision makers identified, so that you retain control over emergencies that affect your wellbeing and future.

Your primary Physician’s office can help you with this process, or if you would like a professional nursing visit at your home to help you create your own emergency preparedness plan, Aberdeen Home Care can provide this service.

Thorough planning provides the best opportunity for timely and accurate medical treatment that can make the difference between a good outcome and the alternative. Don’t be unprepared for the eventual medical emergency that may happen to you or someone in your family. Get your “ducks in a row” so you influence the outcome in your favor.

Written by Joanne MacInnis, RN and Certified Dementia Practitioner.

Originally published in the Manchester Cricket Newspaper, April 2018. 

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