Serious medical emergencies are time-sensitive and seniors often call a family member first. This delays medical care.
The following is a list of special tips that can help save the lives of our senior citizens:
- Invest in a touch-tone phone with large, easy-to-read numbers.
- Put a 9-1-1 reminder near the phone. Dialing "0" will not always connect you with an operator nearby. It may connect you with an operator hundreds of miles away.
- Call if you're having a medical emergency. Many seniors don't want to be a bother or are unsure about whether they should call 9-1-1. Medical emergencies include:
- Trouble breathing
- Chest pain
- Heart attack
- Major fall
Seniors have enough experience to know when something is wrong, so call 9-1-1 and let the first responders help.
- Landline phones allow the dispatcher to "know" where you are calling from even if you cannot speak - for example, if you are experiencing a stroke or if there is an intruder in your home. Just dial 9-1-1 and leave the phone off the hook. Do not hang up.
- Keep your medical history taped to the refrigerator in an envelope clearly marked with your doctor's phone number(s).
To help save critical time after calling 9-1-1:
- Putting animals in another room
- Turn on lights
- Ensuring your house number can be seen easily
- Unlock and open the front door
- Clear a path to the patient, both inside and outside - leave room for the ambulance in the driveway if possible.