National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week celebrates the hard work that EMS personnel do to assist the public when emergency situations arise. It is also a week that is meant to draw attention to what we can do to keep ourselves and those we love safe.
When a senior parent is living at home independently or with the help of a homecare provider, it’s especially important for the senior and those who act as caregivers to know what to do in an emergency.
One of the ways we can keep senior parents safe is by knowing when to call 911 and what happens when we do, and by ensuring that seniors are also educated about using 911.
When to Call
A person should call 911 any time an emergency situation comes up that requires immediate help from the police, an ambulance, or firefighters. For example, call 911 if there is a fire, if someone has broken into or is breaking into the house, if there is an automobile accident, if someone has been seriously injured, or if there is another type of medical emergency, such as a person becoming unconscious or having difficulty breathing. Even if you are not sure that the situation warrants a call, officials suggest that you call and let the 911 operator decide if you need emergency help.
What Happens Next
When you call 911, try to remain as calm as possible since that will help you to answer questions that will allow the dispatcher to send the appropriate resources and assist you as you wait for help. There are some essential pieces of information the operator will ask for, such as:
* The nature of the emergency: Be prepared to tell the operator what is going on. For example, “My mom has fallen and is unconscious” or “There’s a fire in my kitchen.”
* The location: The operator usually receives the location the call is coming from through the computerized system, but they will ask you for the address to verify that the location is correct.
* Phone number: Again, the phone number you are calling from is generally relayed, but the operator will ask to verify the number in case they need to call you back for additional information.
* Details: The operator may ask you for details about the situation. For example, in the case of a medical emergency, they may ask if the person is breathing and, if so, the frequency of the breaths.
There may be a lot of questions, but try to remain patient and calm. The operator is trying to help and is asking questions in order to send the right kind of help. The operator will also provide you with instructions to follow while you wait, such as collecting the medications of the person who is hurt or ill.
If you are concerned that your parent may have difficulty calling 911, it may be helpful to have their homecare provider role play a call. Ask the homecare provider to suggest a situation to your parent and then act as the 911 operator. Doing so may help your parent to remain more calm in case of an actual emergency.
For Homecare Services in Atoka TN, please contact the caring staff at Personal Care Services MidSouth today!