My biggest mantra is plan and prepare as much as possible for the twists, turns and roadblocks that pop up. We often go through life feeling that nothing is going to knock us off our merry-go-round.
Life doesn’t always happen that way, and we can have our “perfect” life knocked out from under us in a matter of seconds. Whether it is you, a spouse, children, siblings or parents, we are often caught unprepared and clueless on what to do when and after an emergency occurs.
That is what happened 20 years ago when the call came, saying my brother,48, single, and living alone in Florida, suffered a massive stroke. Who would have thought this would happen? My only thought was, What should I do? How can I fix it? I didn’t have the answers to those and many other questions. I just reacted and did the best I could with an overwhelming situation. I lived in Massachusetts and he lived in Florida, however, even if you live next door or in the same house it is still overwhelming.
As part of family preparedness before a crisis occurs I would recommend:
- Having or knowing where to find basic health and legal information in order to have the ability answer basic questions and make appropriate decisions.
- Quickly create your support team – medical, siblings and legal and financial advisors.
- Keeping a journal or workbook such as What If Workbook or other similar books that are available today, which help chronicle and document all pertinent medical, personal, legal and financial information.
As soon as possible into recovery add an independent case manager or a solid reputable home health agency to help guide everyone through the quagmire of being a care giver. We are fortunate to have many in the Norton area such as Community VNA, Home Instead and several others, because decisions will need to be made about ongoing medical, legal, care giving and living arrangements.
It does not matter whether you are 21 or 91, life as we know it today changes in a blink of an eye. Know you have options. Plan and prepare for the “What if’s” in life.