If you are a Michigan senior loved one’s primary caregiver, you’ve probably worried about what would happen to them if you suffered an emergency of your own. Because you are involved in their day-to-day care, you likely know their medical history well. You also understand what medications they take and what the schedule is.

But in the event of an emergency, would someone else in the family know what your aging family member needs? What their allergies are? When their next physician appointment is?

Having an emergency caregiver in place before a crisis occurs is the key.

There are two important steps for creating a successful caregiver backup plan. The first part is to carefully craft the plan and the second is to share it with others.


How to Create an Emergency Care Plan for a Senior

Begin by pulling together all of the information someone else would need to be able to care for your senior loved one in the event you are unable to.

At a minimum, your back up plan should include:

  1. Medical history: Create a complete health file that includes your senior family member’s medical history, past surgeries, current and past medical issues, and any allergies.
  2. Medication list: Also put together a list of prescription and over-the-counter medications your loved one takes along with the schedule. Be sure you include the prescribing physician and pharmacy name in case the back-up caregivers need to have one refilled.
  3. Physician list: It’s important to document all of your loved one’s physicians and any other health professionals who are involved in their care. Include their contact information along with the reason your family sees each of them.
  4. Insurance information: To help prevent your family member from falling victim to identity theft, it’s important to keep insurance documents stored in a secure location. Just make sure back-up caregivers are apprised of where and how to access them in the event of a medical emergency.
  5. Legal Documents: Also share the location of any legal documents your senior loved one has in place, such as a durable power of attorney or living will, with family members who may be called on to pitch in and help with caregiving duties.

Our final tip is to visit with senior care providers in Michigan and develop a list of those you feel would be a good fit for your aging loved one if you aren’t available to provide care. Include this information in your back-up caregiver plan.


Share Your Caregiver Back-Up Plan

Once you have created your plan, it is important to make sure friends and family are aware of it and comfortable with the information it contains.

Some families have found technology makes it easier to keep everyone on track. CareZone, CareMind and Caring Bridge are a few easy-to-use apps to explore.