“It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin

Are you prepared for the unexpected?

I am passionate about helping families create their Plan B, so much in fact that my caregivers joke with me about it. “Oh, you better have a Plan B or Karen will make sure you do!”

Why do I care so much about this issue? Because it is real and it is something that can be put in place easily. Once caregivers have this in place, it is no longer a worry.

Caregivers have told me they actually sleep better at night knowing a Plan B is in place.

If you don’t have one, think about these questions:

  • Imagine your spouse is attending a program at Memory Matters, and you are involved in a car accident that sends you to the hospital on the way to pick up your partner. What would happen?
  • What would you do if you had to have surgery?
  • Who would you call if you had to leave town?
  • What would happen if you got the flu and were bedridden for a week?

Recently, I had meetings with several caregivers who have no family in this area and wanted their spouse or parent to attend our day care program. One of the required criteria in our admission packet is listing a local emergency contact. What does this mean?

This means someone who is able to take over for you immediately. This person needs to know doctors’ names, medicine schedules, bathroom schedules and even how to comfort your loved one when you are not around.

When admission paperwork is returned to Memory Matters, about 90 percent of the time a neighbor’s name is listed as a local emergency contact. When we call the neighbor listed to explain to them what it means to be an emergency contact, they typically will not accept the responsibility. There’s more to it than just picking someone up when you cannot.

This is why I am sending out another alert to caregivers to please get a plan in place now! The process is painless. Take the first step.

Call Memory Matters and let our staff provide you with the resources necessary to implement a seamless care plan. Believe me, you will feel better.

Speaking of feeling better, Memory Matter is excited to introduce a new class in January. The three-hour class, offered twice a week, is designed to help keep your brain engaged and healthy. As an added bonus, this class is fun.

Start the New Year right. Make an appointment for a free memory screening, sign up for our class, and get a Plan B in place.

Please call us at 843-842-6688 or visit our website at www.memory-matters .org.

Karen Doughtie is assistant director of Memory Matters, serving Bluffton and Hilton Head. karen@memory-matters.org