Toolkit Helps Families Prepare for Emergencies

The call that can strike terror in the hearts of families, “Mom suffered a stroke,” or “Dad’s is in the ER.”

That call can happen at any time, largely because of medications seniors take. Seniors represent over 13% of the population, but consume 40% of prescriptions and 35% of over-the-counter drugs, according to the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP).

Do you have the information you need to help your loved one? Do your kids have yours? Less than half (47%) of families say they are knowledgeable about their parents’ medical histories, according to research conducted by The Boomer Project. Approximately half (49%) cannot name any of the medications taken by their parents.

“This survey didn’t surprise us; we often are called when families are in crisis,” says Karen Huber, of Home Instead Senior Care.

That’s why Home Instead Senior Care worked with Humana Points of Caregiving® to develop the Senior Emergency KitSM, a toolkit that can help families keep important information at their fingertips.

The toolkit is designed for families to store information such as doctors, pharmacy and insurance company details, current medications, and important documents.

Much is at stake for seniors and their families. According to the ASCP – an organization that represents pharmacists who specialize in geriatric pharmacotherapy – adverse drug reactions are responsible for 28% of hospitalizations of the elderly.

On average, seniors ages 85 and older take 34 prescriptions per year, according to the ASCP. The average number of unique prescriptions for that group is 6.3. The 75 to 84 demographic is nearly as high with an average of just over 33 prescriptions per year and 6.7 unique prescriptions.

“Families can be an advocate for seniors, assuming the older adult wants that,” Huber notes. “It’s good to have someone go with the older adult to the doctor to ask questions and ensure that instructions are followed. Families can look to us for help.”

To get your toolkit, visit