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A health emergency can arise at any time, and various studies show that a large majority of the older population may not be prepared for such an event. A report from the CDC revealed that in the year 2014, over 21 percent of adults age 65 and older visited the emergency room as the result of an injury or illness. These visits resulted in 15 percent of those older adults being hospitalized. While we hate to think about the possibility of a health crisis or trauma occurring, emergency preparedness is something all seniors should strive for in order to stay safe, healthy and enjoying a high quality of life.
ICE is the acronym used for in case of an emergency. To be properly prepared for a health emergency, there are several things you can do to ensure your family members, friends, neighbors and the emergency response team have all the information they need to provide the proper assistance right away.
The first step is to create a medical emergency kit. For seniors, this can be a binder or folder that includes vital information such as:
This binder can also include legal information like a power of attorney form and living will. It’s also a good idea to add in copies of documents like your driver’s license or state identification, insurance cards and a recent, full-color photo of yourself. Additionally, you can also consider further personalizing your binder with up-to-date medical records, by including such information about recent doctor visits or diagnoses.
Once you’ve compiled everything you need for this binder, make sure to place it in a prominent location so emergency responders are able to find it immediately. Let your loved ones, friends or a next door neighbor know where it’s kept, too. First responders are actually taught to look for these types of emergency medical information kits on the top of refrigerators, so clear off the top of your fridge and set it there, allowing it to be easily seen by anyone who may enter your home.
Peabody Retirement Community’s own Business Development Liaison, Sara Wilcox, has hosted ICE workshops in the greater North Manchester region. In these events, she helps attendees learn about health emergency preparedness for seniors, providing helpful information about how to be ready for any type of medical emergency, offering helpful tips for putting together your own emergency binder. Stay tuned for upcoming ICE workshops in your area!