Mr. R retired a few years ago. He and his wife live by themselves, ever since their daughter got married and shifted to the UK. Leading simple lives, the couple in their 60’s would be a great example of aging with grace.
Two years ago, while his wife was away on a trip to meet their grandkids, Mr. R got busy managing things on his own. Late one night, he felt discomfort and pain in his chest, coupled with sweating. Knowing these to be symptoms of a heart-issue, he called the Helpline service he had signed up with, just before he felt worse.
Even better, he managed to walk to the front door, unlocked it and left it partly open so that anyone coming in to help, could enter.
2 basic steps that saved his life.
These simple actions of his ensured that as soon as the help-line service ambulance reached his door, they could enter and rush him to the closest hospital.
By the time his wife’s flight landed, he had already undergone angioplasty and was being looked after by some excellent caregivers at the hospital. Friends and family who reached next day were surprised not only to see him recouping well, but also at the quick thinking of this gentleman, who was otherwise hardly a person known for his presence of mind!
Mr. R’s experience of handling his own medical emergency is now an example for others to learn from.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:
1) SIGN UP:
Senior citizens living by themselves should sign up for an emergency help-line service to ensure that support is a phone-call away.
Helplines have ambulances on hand in various localities in the city and are networked with several hospitals.(check http://www.silverinningshelpline.com for imp contact info.)
2) KEEP NUMBERS HANDY
Make a few post-it notes which have the 5 – 7 most important phone numbers that one can call at short-notice. This should include:
– Helpline / Ambulance (check http://www.silverinningshelpline.com for imp contact info.)
– Family doctor/s
– Immediate family / friend who live close by
3) KEEP PEOPLE INFORMED
Let your close family and neighbours know if there are chronic medical issues that you might need them for, incase of an emergency. Please give them a copy of your list of numbers.
4) KEEP THE MEDICINES HANDY
If an emergency strikes, ensure that your medicines are close at hand.
It is not a bad idea to keep one set of them near your bedside and another in the drawing room or wherever you spend the major part of your day.
Ask your doctor what you should be taking in such a situation. Write the name of the medicine on a post it note and stick it some place where your caregiver can read so that they can inform the doctor if you have consumed the same. Please follow the doctor’s instructions STRICTLY.
For heart related issues, basic breathing exercises are taught be doctors that can actually help you cope.
When the time comes, remind yourself to breathe and stay calm. Panicking aggravates situations unnecessarily.
5) MAKE THE CALLS
Call the help-line first. Ensure that help is on the way.
Call your doctor next so that he / she knows how to reach you.
Call your immediate neighbour after that, so that someone is around watching over you
6) KEEP THE DOOR OPEN
If you’re alone facing a medical emergency, and are physically & mentally alert enough to reach your main door, unlock it and keep it slightly ajar so that someone can enter and help you
One can hardly predict when an emergency could strike. One can only avert it from turning into a crisis by taking a few basic steps that will help you tackle it in a calm and pragmatic manner.
About our writer :
Founder Write In Light (www.writeinlight.com)
Suhana Bhatia has been writing Story & Screenplay for television shows since 2003. She’s a freelance journalist & feature writer & guest faculty at SNDT University Juhu, for their Post Graduate Media & communication course.