We never want to think about ourselves or a loved one getting hurt, sick or passing away, but we do need to be prepared in the event that this ever happens.
Recently a loved one became suddenly ill and was rushed to the hospital, within days they were in multi-organ failure. It was a horrible, stressful and terrifying week where worse case scenarios run through your head and you suddenly realize…I am not prepared for this!
There are so many things that you just never think about needing in that situation. Is your family aware of all your medications, allergies and ongoing health issues? Do you have a MEDICAL POWER OF ATTORNEY in case you are unable to make decisions for yourself? Does your employer offer short term disability while you are in the hospital and who do you call get that started? You don’t want your family to have to worry about paying the bills while they are already so worried about your well being. Do you have a way for loved ones to access your bank account and pay bills for you while you are unable to do so? Think about having online banking passwords and information in your safe along with your insurance policies, will and POA.
What if you do pass away? Where is your insurance policy, will and other important information that family will need? Don’t have a will or power of attorney? EEK! Your family will be in enough hardship if you pass away suddenly, don’t add to the stress and worry by making them responsible for paying the bills, your funeral costs and figuring everything out while the courts take YEARS to release your assets.
I have attached some forms you can fill out for yourself and loved ones in order to be a little bit more prepared. I have ITP, which really isn’t a big deal at all (basically my blood doesn’t clot well) but it may be a big deal if I’m ever in a car accident and have lost a lot of blood. I may not be able to tell the paramedics of my condition as I’m being peeled off the concrete, but my husband and my next of kin have copies of my medical information that they can quickly access.
You should keep copies of these forms for your aging parents at your house as well. Many times a 911 operator or hospital employee will call the next of kin to ask questions about medication, allergies and other information when the patient is unable to answer these questions themselves. Do you know the names and doses of the medication your mother is taking? That information just may save her life.
Here are a few forms to get you started:
Do your family a favour and be prepared. Be sure to have a Will, Power of Attorney, Life Insurance Policy as well as all the information they will need to run your home and life in your absence ready for them.