Are Your Children Prepared to Take Care of You?

Right now, while you’re reading this sentence, you may not need help managing any medical condition you may have. You may be perfectly able, perfectly healthy, and perfectly independent. Have you thought about your options if that’s not the case?

Are you taking medications?

Plan for Possibilities

My mother, Billye, had running battles with both asthma and high blood pressure. I remember several occasions during my childhood when I watched my mother being whisked away for medical treatment. I remember many more occasions when I hovered nearby and watched my mother gasp for breath. I remember being worried but I also remember being prepared.

Billye believed in planning.

Billye knew that her health might lead to emergency situations for herself or for her children. She taught us about herself when we were very young so that we would be ready for anything. Realizing that either a serious asthma attack or a stroke might leave her incapacitated, Billye prepared her children to handle emergency situations. She explained her conditions so that we would know what to expect. She taught us how to call for emergency services.  We practiced making calls for help.

Practice makes prepared.

Knowing that the smoke from a fire might bring on an attack that could keep her from getting us out of the house, Billye taught us escape routes. She kept the tools we might need to break windows and cut screens where we could reach them. We had practice escape drills and she made sure we knew how to use the tools (without actually breaking the windows).

Preparation includes the details.

Billye was aware that if an emergency occurred she might be unable to speak to emergency responders. She helped us memorize the names of her medications and showed us where she kept them. If something happened to her, we had jobs to do and things to think about. We knew how to take care of mom and of each other.

It’s better to have information and not need it…

I never had to break a window to escape a burning home. There were always adult family members or friends around when my mom needed to go to the emergency room. I didn’t have to speak to Billye’s doctors about her medications and treatment until I was an adult. Having all of that information made my childhood easier. I always felt like I was ready…no matter what happened.

Is there any medical information that your children need to know?

Whether your children are two, twenty-two, or fifty-two, you can prepare them to help you in an emergency. The issue of preparing children has been brought to my attention twice this week. First, I spoke to a friend who moved in with her parents a short while ago. Not long after she and her family moved in, her mother died. If I’ve got the story correctly, it wasn’t until her father was later hospitalized that she learned that one of his medications was for the treatment of diabetes.Her parents had been taking care of their own health; my friend was not in the loop. Then I watched the new episode of The Closer. Brenda, the main character, finds out that her father has had heart trouble when he has a heart attack and she discovers it’s not his first. Her parents didn’t want to worry her.

Both of these situations were happily resolved, but things could easily have been different. Do the people who care about you have the tools and information they need to help you if you’re unable to help yourself?

Are your children prepared?

[get-post tag=”about_us”]

Originally posted 2009-01-29 15:35:58.

Tim Colling
Tim Colling

Tim Colling is the founder and President of A Servant's Heart In-Home Care, which provided in-home caregiving services in San Diego County, and also of A Servant's Heart Geriatric Care Management, which provided
professional geriatric care management services and long term care placement services in San Diego County. Tim has more than 30 years of experience in management in a variety of industries. He held a Certified Care Manager credential from the National Academy of Certified Care Managers. Tim is also a Certified Public Accountant (retired), and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from California State University at San Diego. In addition to writing blog posts here for the Servant’s Heart blog, Tim also is a regular contributor to and to as well as blogs of other eldercare services provider companies. Finally, Tim is also the president of A Servant's Heart Web Design and Marketing, which provides home care marketing as well as website design and online marketing for those who serve the elderly and their families.

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