Help With Making Your Emergency Plan
For some years now, ENABLE Glasgow has been encouraging carers to have an emergency plan in place for any time where they are unexpectedly unable to fulfil the caring role. This can give peace of mind, and also makes it easier to cope with a crisis when it arises. We have been working with Glasgow City Council Social Work Services in order to improve this. Also, the ENABLE Scotland Picking Up the Pieces campaign has now developed an excellent set of resources to help carers set up a written plan.
What is In an Emergency Plan?
Emergency planning is relevant to all carers irrespective of the age of the carer, the age of the person they care for, or the health needs or disability the cared-for person has. It should set out the practical arrangements for short term, unplanned circumstances when the carer is unable to fulfil their caring role. An emergency plan should be a written document. An emergency could be an illness, personal crisis or event that unexpectedly, or at very short notice, results in the carer being separated from the cared-for person or in an escalation of the cared for person’s needs.
What’s the Difference Between Emergency Planning and Future Planning?
Future Planning refers to the longer-term plans for the cared-for person when the carer is no longer able to provide care. This could be because of illness, old age, change in circumstances or death. Future plans are more in-depth than emergency plans and the carer, cared-for person and all other relevant family members, friends and professionals should be involved in creating the plan. The wishes and preferences of the carer and the cared-for person should be taken into account.
Why Should I Have a Plan?
Having a written emergency plan is important as it can prevent an emergency becoming a crisis. As a carer, you are the expert in the care you provide to someone. If something happens to you, that knowledge needs to be available to others. By planning in advance, with the hope that the plan never has to be used, you can share your knowledge and allow someone else to be able to step into your caring role. This reduces anxiety for you and the person you care for should an emergency occur.
Where Should the Plan be Kept?
We believe that all emergency plans should be held on social work systems, but also:
• You should have a copy of the emergency plan in your home and the home of the cared-for person (if different).
• You should share the plan with everyone who is named as an emergency contact in the plan (like a family member or a neighbour you are close to).
• You should share the plan with the GP and allocated social worker.
• It is also worth considering sharing the plan with any services, clubs or activities the carer and the cared-for person attend.
Your local carers centre or social work department may be able to help you complete your emergency plan.
Where Can I Find Out More?
ENABLE Scotland has produced a comprehensive information booklet which you can download in PDF format here.
There is also an Emergency Planning Toolkit, which helps you prepare the plan, and a booklet in which you can fill in the Emergency Plan itself.
We also hope to have a Word version available soon. Please contact us if you would like a paper copy.