What would you do it you or a loved one needed emergency services. If you needed emergency services tonight would you be prepared to give them the information they needed about your medications and name of contracts?
Many reasons can cause us to need emergency personnel. But, calling 911 can become less effective if you are not prepared. It could be very hard to nearly impossible answering the questions that can expedite the emergency personnel to help you correctly when you are in the midst of the crisis.
There are two big reasons why we call 911. One is heart attack and the other is falls. This article should help you be prepared before something happens.
- Learn the heart attack warning signs.
- Think through what you would do if you had heart attack symptoms. Decide what you would do if it happened while you were at home, in the middle of the night, at work, or at any other place or in any other situation that might need advance planning.
- Decide who would care for any dependents in an emergency. Emergency medical personnel will generally contact a friend or relative (or the police department, if necessary) to make emergency arrangements for your dependents.
- Talk with your family and friends about the heart attack warning signs and the importance of acting fast by calling 911 after a few minutes (five minutes at the most), if those signs persist. Explain the benefits of calling 911, instead of getting to the hospital by car.
- Gather important information to take with you to the hospital. You can do this by preparing a heart attack survival plan.
Here are some suggestions. Print them out and keep copies in handy places, such as your wallet or purse.
- A list of the medicines you are taking
- A list of the medicines you’re allergic to
- Your doctor’s phone number during office hours
- The first person to contact if you go to the hospital: name, phone number at work, home, and mobile phone
Again, these things should be done when you’re feeling healthy and well. You won’t have time to prepare lists of medications and phone numbers if you are in the middle of a heart attack.
Older adults can remain independent and reduce their chances of falling by doing the following:
- Exercise regularly. It is important that the exercises focus on increasing leg strength and improving balance, and that they get more challenging over time. Tai Chi programs are especially good.
- Ask their doctor or pharmacist to review their medicines—both prescription and over-the counter—to identify medicines that may cause side effects or interactions such as dizziness or drowsiness.
- Have their eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year and update their eyeglasses to maximize their vision. Consider getting a pair with single vision distance lenses for some activities such as walking outside.
- Make their homes safer by reducing tripping hazards, adding grab bars inside and outside the tub or shower and next to the toilet, adding railings on both sides of stairways and improving the lighting in their homes.