Just in case…

Mom and Dad were completely independent (and mostly healthy) before they became sick.  Dad had mentioned something about TIA’s, but no one was paying much attention.  Mom had several ailments, probably due to worrying about the people she loved.

When this all happened, we realized how uninformed we were about their medical histories.  We did not know:

  • Doctors names, addresses, phone, specialty
  • Date last seen
  • Prescriptions
  • Allergies
  • Surgery history (Dad had a long scar on his belly.  No one knows why.)
  • We were unsure if they had living wills.
  • We did not know the combination to Dad’s strong box where he kept important paperwork.

Whether you think you are close to this potential stage in life or not, these are all questions you (or someone) should have the answers to.  It only takes about fifteen minutes to put together and will save time and frustration later.  Create a spreadsheet and make copies.  While you are at it, list your medical history as well and keep it all in your own strongbox.  Hopefully, someone who cares will know the combination.

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About hereisakiss

Daughter Writer Art's Educator
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5 Responses to Just in case…

  1. Dear Elizabeth,
    Caring for aging parents can be incredibly difficult and complex, with so many medical and legal issues to navigate. Like so many things in life, we’d be better off with instructions, but unfortunately, we normally only muddle our way through. Thank you for starting this blog and sharing your experience with us!

    Hugs,
    Valerie

  2. Sarah Thomas says:

    You are such an inspiration to so many people. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself to reach out to others.

    Love,
    Sarah

  3. Hi Elizabeth,

    What a great idea! Thank you for starting this conversation. You are so right: Knowing the basics of Doctors, meds and key documents is essential. In addition, when my Mom became ill, it was critical to spend some of our time documenting the “other” important stuff like recipes, family stories and histories. All the stuff you think you’ll get around too later – but never have time to do. I think my Mom really enjoyed our assembling the recipe collection right down to her guidance on what pan works best! While these conversations were us preparing for the inevitable loss of her from our lives, they were fun conversations. We not only created precious memories in creating the recipe collection, we also finally got around to preserving our favorites for another generation to enjoy.

    • hereisakiss says:

      Eli…”All the stuff you think you’ll get around to.” Just that idea would be a great topic! I’m sticking with the recipes. A niece wrote me recently for my mom’s recipe for ‘Elephant Poop Cookies’. I had no idea what she was talking about. I also recently found a small handmade recipe book that belongs to my mother. Several recipes are in her handwriting (complete with coffee spills and oily prints), with a few written by my nieces. What a treasure! Though, sorry to say………no ‘Elephant Poop Cookies’…E

  4. Anna Aramini says:

    I just LOVE this Elizabeth – for all sorts of reasons. Too many people go through this and don’t get a chance to express it, much less help others through it. We get whacked upside the head with unexpected realities and there are few if any resources to help us through the foggy abyss. I’m just watching and waiting for my turn….

    I am thrilled to be part of your blog. Regarding my parents, I’m a chapter and a half behind where you were when all this happened initially. I know there are things I/we can be doing to be even more proactive than I/they have been so far. Yet when I inquire of people who might be a resource, I come up dry. Seems no one wants to help or can make suggestions until you’re stewing in the process.

    Thanks for being the resource to others that you wish you had at the beginning of your own journey with your parents.

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