If you live alone, it’s important to have emergency numbers handy in the case of a fall or accident. Even if you have live-in caregiver assistance, you’ll want to keep certain numbers nearby to help you with the resources you need. Having emergency numbers handy is important not only for safety; but also for giving you peace of mind, knowing that help is just a phone call away. Here are some important numbers to have nearby.
Primary Physician and Hospital
If you’re experiencing a change in your medical condition, the first person you’re likely to call is your primary care physician. It’s important to have this number at the top of your list to schedule appointments or speak to the office nurse. You’ll also want the number of your nearest hospital in the event that you need to go there for an appointment. And, of course, in the case of a medical emergency, such as shortness of breath or chest pain, always call 911 for assistance.
If you haven’t already done so, you’ll want to designate a family member or close friend to be your emergency contact. You can reach out to this person if you need help with transportation to appointments or for help at home, with laundry, or cooking for example. You’ll also want to put this emergency contact on medical forms should a family member need to be notified.
If you don’t drive, it’s important to have transportation to drive you to appointments or take you on errands. Most communities have a local transportation service you can call for a ride. If you require a wheelchair, make sure the transportation service has wheelchair access before you arrange for them to pick you up. Some Medicare plans will even cover the cost of transportation services.
Next Door Neighbor
There may be times when you need immediate assistance from someone nearby. This is when having a neighbor’s phone number can come in handy. For instance, you may have a problem in your home that needs attention or you may experience trouble starting your car. Getting acquainted with your neighbors can help you when you need someone to provide assistance quickly. It’s also good to have a neighbor keep an eye on your home if you aren’t there, and to keep tabs on your comings and goings.
These are just a few of many important numbers to have on hand in the case of an emergency. Other numbers include the police department, fire department, and poison control. If you have pets, you’ll want to keep your veterinarian’s number handy, too. Keep this emergency contact list in a place that’s easily visible, such as on your refrigerator. Also, if you have a cell phone, store these numbers in your contacts list.