Planning Ahead for your Family’s Medical Needs
No one likes to contemplate sad events, but it’s much worse to experience a sudden illness or injury without a plan. In fact, if you’re a worry-prone person, having a plan for such events can go a long way towards easing your mind. While you can never plan away any bad things from happening, you can ease the stress of a health event by keeping things organized.
The first thing you’ll want to do is have an understanding of your family’s health care policies. What kind of coverage do you, your spouse, and your children have? What might you be eligible for? While health care and insurance are definitely complicated, you may be missing out on benefits that could help your family if you conduct a little research. Often, human resource personnel or resources at government-sponsored health care offices can help walk you through your opportunities.
Keeping all of your paperwork well-organized and in a clearly marked location is crucial. If you are taken to the hospital because of an accident, you won’t be able to tell you’re significant other where you’ve kept the insurance paperwork. If the idea of complicated filing systems makes you sweat, don’t worry: you can simply label a file “Health Insurance” and keep the most important information there. Some people even take a sheet of notebook paper and write the basics on it for easy reference: health insurance number, the types of medical supplies you use and where to order them, doctor’s name and phone number, etc. Just make sure you only tell your immediate family members where it is, for security.
Many people find themselves in the position of managing their aging parents’ health. In this situation, the same kind of planning and organization applies, but it can be harder to go through someone else’s paperwork. If you are accompanying someone to doctor’s appointments frequently, you should keep a list of the medications that they take and when they take them. Doctors will need to know this before prescribing something new or upping a dosage. If your loved one is taken to an emergency room, it’s crucial that the doctors know what medications they are taking. It can keep them from prescribing other medications or treatments that could have serious interactions.
If your child has a medical condition, then an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure. Your child’s teachers, coaches, and babysitters should all be made aware of your child’s condition, as should anyone else who has responsibility for your child. You don’t want a well-meaning adult to offer a snack that could irritate your child’s severe allergy or fail to recognize the symptoms of a serious asthma attack. In the event that an emergency does occur, it’s a good idea to have a plan in place, that you share with the other adults in your child’s life, so that he or she received medical care in an orderly and calm way.
The types of plans you put in place will, of course, depend on your family and it’s needed. You can be confident, however, that spending a little bit of time organizing information will save a lot of trouble in the long run.