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6 Tips for Preparing for a Health Care Emergency

No one anticipates an emergency and, yet, many of us may face one (or more) during our lives. COVID-19 (coronavirus) is prompting people to think about their values and preferences, wishes for their health care and how to care for loved ones if there is an emergency. Developing a plan will help prepare you and your family for a health care emergency.

Here are six to-dos that can help better prepare you and your loved ones should a health care emergency happen:

  1. Make an emergency plan for yourself. Visit DaVita.com/COVID for emergency preparation information specifically for dialysis patients.
  2. Make a care plan for your loved ones (children, parents, pets, etc.). Find a free guide at AARP.org/PrepareToCare.
  3. Identify someone to help make emergency health care decisions and communicate your wishes.
  4. Communicate with your health care team. Share your wishes and advance care plan documents.
  5. Consider concerns your family might have and explore resources to help. Discuss these with them.
  6. Talk to your family about emergency planning. Share the following with each other: emergency plans and the location of important information/documents:
    • Lists:
      • Allergies
      • Health care providers (and their specialty)
      • Current medical equipment and medications (prescription and over the counter)
      • Emergency contacts
    • Health insurance card
    • ID card (driver’s license, passport, etc.)
    • Immunization records
    • Financial documents (banking information, etc.)
    • Legal documents stating your health care wishes (also known as an advance care plan). For more information, talk to your DaVita social worker or visit AARP.org or FiveWishes.org.

Planning for a health care emergency may help ease the stress that comes with a crisis. Take the time now. You and your loved ones may appreciate that you did.

During challenging times, we are here to help. If you are a DaVita dialysis patient, please reach out to your social worker for more tips and additional support. You can find more information about coping with COVID-19 here


This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice from a medical provider.

Please check with a medical professional if you need a diagnosis and/or for treatments as well as information regarding your specific condition. In case of emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency department.

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