Abstracted from Mayo Clinic By: Sheila Kun RN, BSN, MS, CPN, FCCP
My first Care Ministry article in January of 2020 was “Wealth, Fame and Health: Choose One”. The answer is very clear this year and probably unanimous; if you choose other than health, you probably would not be here to answer this question. The COVID 19 pandemic has shown us if we do not take care of our health, in this case, a global disaster, then every facet of our life is on hold. Health begins with prevention and preparation to sustain a healthier lifestyle. For the elderly, the preparation includes knowing, and accepting your limitations. But also, in a shameless way, let your family know what these health limitations/needs are. Let me share a real life story to show you the importance of sharing your physical conditions with your families.
Cousin A was hospitalized after a fall at home. She is 79 years old. She was hospitalized for 10 days and sent home. It is not clear why she fell; it could be hypertension, hypotension, hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, or just stumbling upon something. She was sent home with a diaper and a wheel chair. She lives with her husband and a daughter. For two days after discharge, her children were caring for her; feeding, bathing, diaper changing, and wondering why she was sleepy most of the time. When the home health nurse made her first visit, she was horrified to find that her “routine” nine medications were not given. One of them was insulin. Needless to say, she was re-admitted back to the hospital immediately in a semi-comatose condition. If her children knew of her medical needs, she would have been better cared for. If she has a health plan in place, she would not be in this devastated state.
Following the past tradition for the last 6 years, I present to you the first homework from our Provincial Care Ministry in 2021. Fill (or update if you already have one) this form out for yourself, or someone that you really care about. The form will provide essential information to the first rescuer. Do it for yourself and those who take care of you. If you need a Word version of the form, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org