As a household, you can plan and make decisions now that will help you and your household during an emergency. The plan looks at the needs and daily routine of your household members. The plan looks at how the household will manage if a main caregiver becomes ill or for some other reason is unable to provide the care or support, they usually do. The plan looks at how the household can manage a change in the care or support needs of a family member with high support or medical care needs.
Get Your Household Ready
Talk with the people who need to be included in your plan.
Meet with the people you live with, other relatives, and friends.
Talk over what to do if you or a family member becomes ill or there is another change in circumstances.
Talk about what each person might need. Make sure everybody in your house knows what they should do.
Plan to care for your family member with higher support or medical support needs.
Be Aware, in medical situations some individuals with an intellectual disability, for example Down Syndrome, may present atypically with serious illness (e.g. fever may be masked) and co-morbidities are common. Know, what is their normal when well and when ill.
If worried about medical care or changing medical needs ask your doctor for information about planned check-ups, preventive healthcare and monitoring health for symptoms that indicate change.
HSE Health Passport : Where your family member with an intellectual disability has to go into hospital for treatment or attend any healthcare setting it can be a good idea to have a health passport. The Health Passport will let healthcare staff know all about abilities and needs, everything from medication to allergies and best ways to communicate. This will help them give better care in a healthcare setting. Please ensure that the information is up to date. Use the HSE Health Passport Guide when filling out a health passport so it is as good as it can be.
This fun “Mission Possible” video explains all about health passports, their use and why they are so important.
Plan to care if the main caregiver is unwell or unable to provide care
If a family member has high support needs, you can complete an emergency care plan. Then others know what to do if the main carer becomes unwell or is unable to provide care because of an emergency. Family Carers Ireland have an Emergency Care Scheme for family carers
A Good Support Network
Think about increasing the number of caregivers you can call on in case some caregivers become unwell or cannot work. Talk to local service providers or home-care agencies about support options.
Talk to family and friends about extra support they could provide, and when you may need to call upon them.
Get to know your neighbours. Talk with neighbours you know and trust about your emergency planning.
Introduce people in your support network to each other. Then they can connect and work together easily if you or a family member become unwell.
Find organisations in your community that can help. Think about joining neighbourhood social media groups to keep in contact with neighbourhood supports and local information.
Write it Down
Make a telephone contact list. Include family, friends, carpool drivers, your doctor, local disability service providers and anyone else you know who may be of help.
Make a list of the local services and organisations that you can contact if you need information, health care services or other supports.
Put your emergency care plans in writing, share with household members and others involved, or let them know where they can find it. Keep it up to date.