One cannot assume that a health care aide that shows up at your house is competent to call 911 to report a medical emergency or a fire. Nor for that matter, assume your children can do so. This situation is important because you may have baby-sitters, home-health-care aides, and various other people alone with a vulnerable loved one. Over the years I have supervised over forty health-care aides, and not one could manage a make-believe 911 call without problems. As soon as they were assigned this was the first thing I went over with them. Do not assume the so-called "care coordinator" has done so. My goodness! Two of them appeared to speak no known language. Thus, it is important to go through a "mock" 911 emergency call with everyone in the household, and especially health-care aides. You provide them with an emergency scenario (unconscious patient...smoke in the house...burglar) and watch them go through an imaginary call for help. Make sure they know the address! I put this information up in big letters taped to the wall beside the telephone. Of course you will go through an evacuation procedure, as well. Make sure they demonstrate how to evacuate a bedridden patient. The health-care aide problem comes about because agencies may not send the same person day after day. Tell them to use the land-line, if possible, because that (usually) transmits and address to the fire dispatcher. Tell them if there is a life-threatening emergency to call 911 FIRST, and then attempt to contact you. Make sure when you drill them they tell the operator if there is a bedridden or wheelchair bound person in the house! Tell them DO NOT HESITATE TO CALL! For lots of reasons (including...sigh...immigration status) an aide may be very hesitant to call "the authorities".
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