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August 12, 2013

This past weekend I took a road trip. The scenery was beautiful, the weather warm and sunny, and the roadways were full of people out for a drive. While on the second leg of my journey I rounded a corner on a steep mountain grade to find a motorcyclist in deep distress after an encounter with the pavement. His motorcycle was totaled, belongings were strewn across the roadway, and he was lying at the side of the road with sever injuries.

I had been thinking about what to post in this week’s blog while driving along before encountering the accident so when I resumed my travels after offering assistance I decided to somehow incorporate the accident into this post.  Listening to the other nurse on the scene as she answered questions about the injured persons name, address, emergency contact and other relevant data. It came to me that this would be the focus of todays post.

Luckily this man was alert, oriented, and able to answer the questions but many accident victims are not so lucky. Despite this man’s severe injuries and excruciating pain he was able to provide information and relay his wishes.  He had been smart to keep his identification cards and some money in the pocket of his vest which assured those items would go with him to wherever he was transported.

This is relevant to your aging parents in that whenever they leave home the important information should be kept on their person in a wallet carried in a pocket or in a body pouch. The reason for this is that in an accident purses and other items in the vehicle often get strewn along the roadway and aren’t always picked up and sent along with the victim when being transported for emergency medical care.

Let’s look at a list of the important information everyone should carry:

  • A driver’s license with the current name, address, and date of birth
  • The name, address, and phone number of an emergency contact person
  • A list of all medication including the name, dosage, route, and timing (ex: Metformin 500 mg by mouth twice a day)
  • A list of all allergies to food, medications, or environmental triggers
  • The name, address, and phone number of the primary medical provider (this is good use of their business card)
  • The name, address, and phone number of the auto insurance carrier and medical insurance company (again good use of their business cards)

In addition to keeping the information in a pocket on the person the exact same information should be kept in the following locations:

  • In the glove compartment of the car
  • In a purse or suitcase if planning to be traveling on overnight trips
  • Stored in the memory of a cell phone (if it has the capability)

When traveling by train or on an airplane the same information should be carried on the person as well as stored in the cell phone and copies of all the same information placed in the carry on bags and checked luggage. This may seem redundant, but it will save frustration and possible confusion in the event of an emergency.

An additional note about air travel. Carry on luggage should include medications for one to two days, a change of underwear, and hygiene items such as deodorant, toothpaste, and a tooth brush. These items are meant to be used in case checked luggage gets routed to a location different from the travelers destination.

Obviously, I hope that your aging parents are never in an accident of any kind, but at least everyone can have the peace of mind in knowing that the essential information is available if there is ever a need.


Feel free to share any information you would like to add in the comments section.  Let me know if these types of posts are relevant and helpful to you.


Thank you for reading my blog. The messages here are for your benefit and your feedback is greatly appreciated!





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