Do you have an emergency plan in place to ensure the person you care for is looked after in your absence?
It’s not something that we often like to think about – what might happen if I was in an accident or emergency– but it can help ease concerns to be prepared for such an event. In an emergency it may be that you are unable to communicate to an emergency responder or inform of them of important information. For example, you may be on specific medication and/or you might be a carer for someone, and this information could be key to pass on as soon as possible.
Carer Emergency Card:
The Carers Emergency Card (adults.wiltshire.gov.uk/Services/1350) is free and offers peace of mind and reassurance that things will be taken care of in case of accident or emergency. The card is available to all carers aged 18 or over including parent carers.
- It provides you with a 24/7 call centre contact number and a PIN;
- Allows you to identify alternative carers who could provide emergency care;
- Allows you to outline the needs of the person you care for and their preferences for alternative care provision which can be accessed by health and care professionals who may need to be involved in making arrangements for alternative care.
Anyone finding the card in the event that you became unwell or were in an accident, is then able to contact the call centre and inform the emergency response team that alternative care is required.
How to apply for a carers emergency card
The best way to apply is by using the Wiltshire Council’s Carers Emergency Card Online Application (adults.wiltshire.gov.uk/Services/1350). Alternatively, you can contact Carer Support Wiltshire on 0800 066 5068 for more information or to request a paper copy of the form.
For more information about the free scheme email our Carers Emergency Card Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0800 181 4118.
You can also download the Carers Emergency Card leaflet in PDF format by clicking here – carersupportwiltshire.co.uk/app/uploads/2021/12/DL-6pp-Carers-Emergency-Card-leaflet_April-2021.pdf.
Setting an emergency contact in your phone:
Most of today’s smartphones come with a feature that allows you to enter data that’s accessible without having to unlock the phone, including emergency contacts and important medical information. It can be really useful to set an emergency contact in your phone in case of emergency.
Rethink (www.rethink.org/) and The Wiltshire Mental Health Inclusion Service (www.rethink.org/help-in-your-area/services/community-support/wiltshire-mental-health-inclusion-service/) have a great guide for how to set an emergency contact and medical information in your phone. You can open the document by following this link – carersupportwiltshire.co.uk/app/uploads/2020/03/Setting-Emergency-Contact-on-Smartphone-ICE-Ver-03-Mar-2022.pdf.
Creating an emergency plan:
Having an emergency plan in place can help ease your worries if you are not able to care for those you look after at any point in the future. Carers UK has a great interactive plan (carersdigital.org/mybackup/) to guide you through the process of creating one.
In order to create an emergency plan that meets your needs, we recommend you consider bringing together these details:
- details of the name, address and contact details of the person you look after
- who you and the person you look after would like to be contacted in an emergency – this might include friends, family or professionals
- details of any medication the person you look after is taking and where it is stored
- details of any ongoing treatment they need
- noting details of any allergies
- details of their GP and pharmacy
- any ongoing treatment they need
- any care and support services they receive
- any continence products needed and who supplies them
- any mobility challenges and mobility aids such as a wheelchair or hoist
- anything behavioural others need to be aware of.
It can also be useful to let family members or friends know of the plan, where it is kept or even provide them with a copy of the plan.