A medical ID is recommended for caregivers. A caregiver is someone who may be responsible for the direct care, protection, and assistance of another person. Care recipients can include those who have special needs because of their medical conditions or disability.
Statistics show that more than 65 million people or 29% of the U.S. population, provide care for a chronically ill, disabled, or aged family member or friend during any given year. According to CDC's caregiving fact sheet, 4 in 5 caregivers manage household tasks and over half assist with personal care.
"Having peace of mind can help make caregiving an even more rewarding experience. There’s no question that you would do everything possible for a loved one, but don’t forget about yourself in the process and ensure that you safeguard your own health first, so you can take care of others." - Rise Up for Caregivers
Many caregivers of older people are older adults themselves. Of those caring for someone aged 65 or older, the average age of caregivers is 63, with a third of these caregivers in fair to poor health themselves.
A medical ID can help caregivers in taking care of their own medical needs and in an emergency, alert responders that someone depends on their care and could be with them during the time of emergency. For example, patients with mental health disorders like dementia, autism, down syndrome, and Alzheimer's Disease are at risk of running away from an emergency situation when they become scared. A medical ID can expedite caregivers to be reunited with their care recipients.
If the care recipient is not with the primary caregiver during an emergency, a medical ID can prompt responders to reach secondary or temporary caregivers to assist.
"Have you considered the possibility that you could have an accident or get sick? I know we never think anything is going to happen to us, but what if it did? I wear a family caregiver medical ID that tells emergency personnel that I care for my husband Steven and he will need help. It has given me such a sense of peace and also empowerment I never would have believed possible." - Suzanne Geffen Mintz, author of A Family Caregiver Speaks Up: It Doesn't Have to Be This Hard
Engraved information on a medical ID bracelet or necklace for caregivers can be helpful to anyone responding to an emergency. In engraving a caregiver’s alert ID, make sure that it contains accurate information of their identity, their own medical conditions if any, and most importantly - the fact that they have someone in their care. A wallet card can be used to supply more information such as their care recipient’s address, contact details of secondary caregivers that can help, health information and special needs of care recipient, and more.
Ideally, care recipients also wear medical alert jewelry so that they and their medical conditions are easily identified by responders as soon as they are located.
"Maybe this sounds strange but as a caregiver, there are people relying on you. If something happens to you they should be alerted. By wearing one you will ensure that the one you are caring for will be warned and maybe another emergency contact can make sure they are okay." - Senior Citizen Website