What happens to your business or work when you get the call Mom or Dad is at the hospital? Are you ready? What are important documents you need before you go racing to the hospital. What happens to your own business and how long will you be absent? Not earning income.
First, breath when you get the call because you are prepared. You got this!
Documents you need now:
- Copy of Health insurance Cards
- List of Medications and even the new ones
- Healthcare Proxy – so you can speak on behalf of your parents
- Advanced Healthcare Directive
- Power of Attorney
Have a copy of these documents ready in your car or with you. Without these you are not able to speak on behalf of parents. More and more hospitals and health care provider are requiring the right documents.
You will become the advocate for your parents. You are not at the hospital to make friends; you are there to get your parent the best care for them. The hospital is there to rotate the bed and keep it making money. The sooner one vacates the next person will fill the bed either in the hospital or ER. Don’t assume the discharge planner, social worker or the staff is your guiding light through the doors of hospital or ER. You want to know your options so you can make important decisions. You know best of your love ones not the person trying to do their job rotating the bed. You are not a medical person and it’s fast and confusing the decisions you need to make. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Ask until you understand because there is a medical language that is foreign to you. Understand the diagnoses and treatment. Better yet is there surgery needed and you need to know what happens after surgery.
Listening is the next weapon in your toolbox. Be the extra set of ears for your parents. Take notes when you are talking to the medical staff and doctors. If you don’t understand repeat the questions and ask for them to explain in a different way.
Who’s at home? Let me explain. Most the time Mom is the caregiver for Dad. Statics show that the caregiver (Mom) will end up in the hospital before the sick person. Who will sit with the Dad that may have Dementia or Alzheimer’s? More and more families don’t have family nearby or they are single child with no siblings.
How to handle your Job/Business:
This is an emergency call and you need to go fast. You can make calls from the hospital. Or you can have family members call your work. Let you manager/boss know so they can pick up the slack. If you choose to stay at work your focus is gone. Go ahead and work guilt free, we all handle crises differently. Have someone cover your shift, work, or projects.
- Talk candidly with your boss or manager.
- Use the Family and Medical Leave Act if you Can
- Ask if your Employer has other Caregiving Benefits
- Change your work hours temporarily
- Consider hiring a Geriatric Care Manager
Having your team of professionals advising you along the way makes it so much easier and less stress. It also helps getting you back to your business or work. Having a working relationship with a Geriatric Care Manager that can be your eyes and ears on the ground. You might not be near your parents and you need someone now. Some pitfalls that happen when not prepared.
- Thinking that my sibling is doing the parent care and I’m off the hook
- Not giving appreciation and emotional support to the main caregiver
- Falling prey to the “killer” misconception that “I shouldn’t have to ask”
- Assuming that our sibling are the same people they were as kids
Think about 8 key areas:
- Family support
- Health safety
- Medial needs
- Cognitive health
- Personal Hygiene
- Meal preparation
- Social interactions
Finally, think about your own needs and abilities. Does your own health allow you to physically are for someone? Do you live close enough to visit as often as needed? Would you want to live with them, either in their house or yours? Do you have the kind of relationship that allows you to spend a lot of time together without creating a lot of negative feelings on either side? Do you have the personality to provide the type of care they need? Are you willing to learn how to provide that care?
These are just a few of the areas you may not have thought of. Finances on both sides is major concern. You not working and earning income and parents may not have enough assets to handle the emergency. This includes in-home care, board and care, assisted living, home-health, palliative care, hospice, and finally arrangements. A Geriatric Care Manager will be your tool for guidance and recommendations.
Advanced Wellness GCM, Inc
VIP Concierge Care Management
VA Accredited Claim Agent (POA #27203)
RCFE Administrator and Instructor USAF Retired