Like most people, caregivers may find it hard to motivate themselves to get organized for the future, but as the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and it’s very true when planning for an emergency.
Creating a checklist and getting everything organized in advance will only take a few hours, and you will be happy that you’ve done so!
When an emergency arises, the last thing that you, as a caregiver, needs to be doing is searching for documents or contact information, and trying to piece things together on your own, without the help of the person you are caring for to point you in the right direction.
Planning and organization skills for caregivers don’t have to take up too much time. In fact, creating a checklist and getting everything organized in advance will only take a few hours, and you will be happy that you’ve done so!
Caregiver organization checklist
Emergency Contact Information
- Emergency phone numbers for your area (e.g. 9-1-1)
- Names and numbers of health care providers involved in care, including who can be contacted after hours
- Names of should be notified in case of sudden change in health status, along with their phone numbers
Other Contact Information
- Family and friends
- Those providing service (gardeners, dog walkers, etc.)
- Landlord or tenants
- Lawyers, financial planners, or accountants
- Birth certificate, marriage certificate, passport, proof of citizenship, health care, social insurance number, health insurance information, etc.
Bank Account Information
- Bank accounts, mortgages, credit cards, lines of credit, loans
- RRSPs, pension plans, mutual funds, stocks, bonds, etc.
- Wills, Power of Attorney documents, Advance Care Plans and any documents pertaining to pre-planned funeral arrangements
Key Asset and Income Information
- Details of vehicle ownership, property ownership, income sources, most recent tax returns, insurance policies, and safe deposit boxes
- Mailbox key, house key, car keys, safety deposit box keys, etc.
Utilities and Other Account Numbers
- Account information for hydro, gas, water, cable, phone, etc.
Health and Medical Information
- Medication and dosages, health conditions and allergies, health history, and current health services or treatments (i.e. home care, rehabilitation, etc.)
Use this handy template to jot down names and contact information of people you can call in times of emergency, and keep it in a visible place such as the fridge, by the telephone, or in a bedside table.
See our other Elizz article on developing an advanced care plan.