Putting Together an Emergency Bag

When meeting with family caregivers I always inquire whether they have an emergency bag and an emergency plan. Most often I am told that they do not. I thought today we would discuss an Emergency Bag. This bag should be clearly marked “Mom’s Emergency Bag” and be in sight for family and first responders to find. A hook near the front door is a great location. The bag should be a brightly colored canvas bag that can hold the following:

List of Emergency Contacts and family members (Name, telephone numbers, emails addresses)

List of Medical providers (Most elders have several specialists)

Copies of Medicare/Health Insurance Cards

Copy of Living Will/ Powers of Attorney for Health Care and Finance

List of all medications and supplements care receiver is currently taking

Some caregivers put all of the above items in a binder.

A medication box with at least 5 days of medication in it

10-12 Sets of underwear or disposable undergarments

Package of disposable wipes/washcloths

Latex/Rubber Gloves

Hand Sanitizer

Photocopies of Health Insurance Cards (Medicare & Supplemental)

Diabetic Supplies – if applicable

Inhaler – if applicable

Extra pair of Glasses

Lip Balm/ Skin cream

1 set of towel/hand towel and wash cloth

2-4 Bottles of water

2-4 Power bars or nutritional snack

Change of clothing (Sweatshirt and sweat pants always work well)

2-4 pairs of socks

Slippers or athletic shoes

Extra key to the care-receivers residence

Coin purse with change and $10 in bills

Remember False Teeth and Hearing Aids if going to the hospital

Hope this list helps to construct your emergency bag.

Does anyone have any addition suggestions?

Next month we will discuss Caregiver Emergency Plans.

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