Always Have Your Power Of Attorney!
Went to visit my mom yesterday during the afternoon. I walked into her room and she was on the couch with a caregiver adjusting her pillow. My mom looked like she was sick and the caregiver told me my mom had been sick on Sunday and was still not feeling well that day. She had gone to breakfast but not eaten and skipped lunch. The caregiver said I will check on her later and left. I tried to talk to my mom and there was no responses. She just looked at me and keep making faces as if she was in pain. She was completely out of it and confused. After I realized something had to be wrong I called 911.
Paramedics said she had extremely high blood pressure when she has an extremely low blood pressure condition so this was extremely rare. A nurse indicated she had been prescribed a new medication that Friday. She was warm and could not respond to anyone. They said they had to take her to the hospital. I asked for them to take her to the hospital we always go to since her doctors and records are there but they said they had to take her to another one closer if I could not immediately produce my power of attorney. I did not have it but assumed the facility had it since I had to give it to them when we signed the contract.
I ran to the head nurse and she said she would check and then was unable to find a copy. I then went downstairs to the office and they could not find one either so the paramedics took her to the other hospital.
It is extremely important to have a copy of your power of attorney in a few different places. There should always be one where the person is living so I now have one attached to the refrigerator in mom's room so that I never have to look for it. It was also suggested to keep one in the glove box of the car in case you are called suddenly while you are out and about and have to go directly to a hospital and you do not have time to stop home.
Going to the other hospital ended up "ok" this time. My mom had a reaction to the new medication she had been given. It was extremely difficult trying to explain 14 different medications and numerous illnesses all over again to people with no history of her. Always be prepared and do not wait to have a POA until it is too late. Get one now just in case.
There are many ways to get one made. You can create them online at some very trustworthy websites or you can always ask an Elder Law attorney to draw one up for you. Whichever you do make sure it has everything that "could" happen in it. It is always good to have an attorney review any legal document so that you know you have what is legally necessary.
I learned many things over the past two days so read more upcoming blogs on this experience.