Sunday, June 7, 2009

Tip Five: Write it Down

Okay, I'm back to my tips list. This is a short and sweet and is related to the last one: once you've done your homework, write it down. Seem obvious to you? Good. But, I got caught offguard on some things I never even thought of initially, so make sure you think of everyone and everything that you might need to know in a time of crisis, because you cannot count on a clear-headed recall of all the facts when it happens. And, then, when the inevitable happens, will you know whom to contact?

For me, this became an issue recently. I have all Mother's records of course since she just can't seem to throw anything away, but in the chaos of moving her during the holidays and then trying to jam all her stuff into storage like little puzzle pieces, I have no idea where anything is. So, when she began complaining of a loose tooth in her partial (like a portion of fake teeth), I was at a loss. I was at a loss because she doesn't know who her dentist is. She vacilates between telling me she doesn't have one and doesn't remember who it is. I would rather she see someone who is familiar with her and her conditions, but I've quizzed her a few times thinking I'd catch it on a good day. No such luck. Well, when all this started happening last fall, her teeth were the furthest thing from my mind. As were her eyes, but fortunately I'd been with her to her eye doctor before, so that was not an issue. So, I'd recommend having a list somewhere that all the immediate family members can access (so, in other words, don't stick it on your Blackberry unless you want to get pulled out of a meeting at the wrong time or something like that), and the list should include all the caregivers, all the medications, anything of note (past surgeries, allergies), etc. and people to contact (close friends, aunts, uncles, etc.) so you can keep them apprised. If that seems like a tip that goes without saying, then you're a better person than I am because I didn't have it at my disposal.

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