Are You a Good Neighbor? Part II

Have you ever experienced Illness?  Have you been a caregiver?  Maybe you have been that neighbor who gets their Friday night Hallmark movie and a bowl of ice cream interrupted by loud screams and banging on your front door. See last week’s blog  for Part I.  Or perhaps it’s the frantic phone call from a friend crying and screaming incoherently into the phone that they need help.

If you have experienced any of these; then you know how harried, stressful and confusing trying to survive these sudden, frightening moments of medical mayhem can be.

Being prepared can go a long way to smoothing the path and avoiding some of the bumps along the way.  Here is a list (not an exhaustive one) that might help.

  1. Have a Living Will – What types of medical treatment you want or do not want if you are unable to make your own decisions.
  2. Health Surrogate – the person you designate to make medical decisions for you.
  3. Anatomical donation – Whether or not you wish to donate your organs when you die.
  4. Durable Power of Attorney – the person whom you have appointed to act on your behalf if you cannot make decisions for yourself.
  5. Your medical history: There are many ways of doing this both on thumb drives, on your computer, even aps for your smart phones. A simple notebook will suffice.  There are at least three forms necessary:  One is a historical fact sheet of major events, surgical procedures, major medical issues such as cardiac, orthopedic, etc. Second, your medicines both prescription and over the counter (OTC), and herbs.  A third sheet should include a list of physicians currently overseeing you or your loved ones care.
  6. Place these items where they can easily be found and transported. Let your children, surrogate, good friend or neighbor know where they are.
  7. If you do not have any family physically near you, find a trusted neighbor or friend who can help direct family and first responders where this information is located. This is so very important.  Don’t ignore this item.
  8. Other Items to include:
  • All bank accounts, account numbers, types of accounts, and bank locations.
  • Insurance information – health, life, long-term care, auto, policy numbers, and the beneficiaries who are named on the policies.
  • The deeds and titles to all property – homes, RV’s, and automobiles.
  • Loan/lien information – who holds them and if there are any death provisions.
  • Your Social Security number and medical identification numbers.
  • Instructions for your funeral service and burial – if arrangements have been secured, the name and location of the funeral home.

It’s imperative to be prepared.  It should be organized and all together in one place.  And let me reiterate: let a good local  friend, neighbor, grown child know where it can be found in an emergency.  Because in life stuff happens.  Like with tornados or hurricanes, we can’t plan for everything.  Even the best of plans do not allow us to escape all the pain.  We can never know what disaster will plague us next.  But having a plan in place is a lot better than scrambling when medical mayhem strikes.  Your plan is the boat that will help you navigate the stormy waters of medical mayhem.


Thank you for reading my post.  If you have found it encouraging please consider liking, commenting or sharing it.  Feel free to even re-blog – may these words take flight!

I have additional insights I’d love to share with you found in the pages of my debut book: Surviving Medical Mayhem – Laughing When It Hurts.  To order a copy or learn more go to my website at

Blessings for Health & Wellness.



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