Monday, January 07, 2013

caregiving and cell phones

power of attorney (POA) / medical advocate
If someone you care for is unable to explain their health care needs to medical personnel it might jeopardize their life if you as power of attorney (POA)/medical advocate cannot be reached.

This fundamental truth does not change with the care facility era.

Recently I have found myself in conversations with a newbie to the care facility era about cell phones.

As I type this my mouth is still hanging open over the thought of leaving my cell phone at home by error much less on purpose daily. … Years into this I still take my cell phone into the bathroom with me, just in case Patti's care facility calls.

Having faith in an institution is wonderful but that is an assumption and we all know what happens when one assumes (Assume = Ass out of U and Me).

24/7 care has not changed that I try to be reachable and ready to respond 24/7.

I get that confidence can seem coolly detached and may even be encouraged but if the door swings both ways then the other side would sure seem cold-hearted to me?

Practically speaking something could happen to an escort/companion from a care facility. How would they even recognize that the personal medical history is wrong? Case in point, about two years ago Patti was taken to an orthopedic specialist except her ‘professional’ facility companion brought someone else’s x-ray.

Calling me on my cell phone while she was still there I was able to talk them through how to find the correct x-ray on line so the appointment could be successfully completed – otherwise the whole trip either would have been wasted or worse.

I even have mine programmed for a specific ring tone for Patti’s care facility so if driving, in a meeting, or in the shower (I can always turn the water off) whatever it does not matter – I answer.

My phone is not even 'smart' it does nothing except send and receive calls. 

Kids! They have a whole new way of thinking.

Patrick Leer
Health Activist:
Caregivingly Yours, MS Caregiver @


  1. You're so right. The facility has to be concerned about hundreds of people, but We only care about our ONE. My mother's home has every one of our numbers, and in bold print on the front of her binder it says 'call family immediately!' We've run into problems with temps that fill in for vacations. They panic, call the doctor 'on call,' who doesn't know my mother, and between those two they try to make decisions. No, no, NO!!! Call me, and let me tell you what needs to be done. Yes, having phone access is absolutely essential.


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