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Planning Steps for Patients & Families During the COVID-19 Crisis

We're in this together.

Be a Hero. Make a Plan.

The global coronavirus pandemic presents new challenges for individuals, families, health professionals and health systems. Realities of the COVID-19 illness experience, particularly in circumstances where symptoms become severe enough for potential hospitalization, underscore the importance of thinking and talking about the care you want before any such hospital care may happen. 

We are all in this together. You can do your part by making a plan. This plan can help you, your family, friends and your medical providers. 

 

For Caregivers

 

Planning Steps for Patients and Families During the COVID-19 Crisis

Ten Minute Take Action Guide

For Everyone


 

Webinar

Three Action Steps

Planning During the Pandemic

Medications

Money and Bills

Your Pets

Hospital Stay

Resources

Downloads

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Learn More at Our Webinar

3 Good Ways to Proactively Plan for Your Covid-19 Care Right Now

Rebecca Kirch, executive vice president, and guest Dr. Anthony Back, professor of medicine at the University of Washington and co-director of the Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence, talk about how to regain control over your health care while helping the medical professionals in your community.

Your Medical Care Plan: Three Action Steps

Step 1: Choose a medical decision-maker

  • This person will speak for you if you cannot speak for yourself because of your condition. If able, choose a back-up medical decision maker.
    • They can make sure your doctors know about the care you want
    • Keep their phone numbers on hand
  • A good medical decision-maker is someone who:
    • Can talk to the doctors for you in person or by phone and knows your wishes about what is best for you
    • You trust to follow your wishes about the care you want and may not want
  • Let your medical decision maker know they were chosen

Step 2: Share Your Wishes About the Care You Want

  • Think about what is most important in your life? Family, pets, hobbies, etc.?
  • If you know what you want for your medical care, share this now
  • Talk with your family, friends, and medical providers about the care you want. You can share what care you want by phone and/or a selfie video. You can also talk to others by video call.

Step 3: Consider an advance directive

  • This form allows you to name your decision maker and write down what you want for your medical care as guidance if you cannot speak for yourself because of your condition.
  • If you have an advance directive, find it, review it, and share it
  • To get a form go here
    • It is OK if you can’t sign it or get witnesses right now
    • Reading it can still help you learn a lot about what care you want
    • Filling out parts can still help your family and providers know more about the care you want and may not want
    • You can scan/fax (the most secure), email, or even send pictures of the form from your cell phone to those you trust

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Medications

  • Make a list of your medications and keep it on hand
  • Look ahead and contact your clinic, hospital or pharmacy if you need a refill
  • Call your pharmacy to see if your medicines can be sent to your home

 

Your Money and Bills

 

Your Pets

  • Choose someone who could take care of your pets if needed
  • Call your pet store. They may deliver pet food and supplies to your home, or you could use an online ordering service (e.g., Chewy.com)

 

Hospital Stay

Unlike usual circumstances, the COVID-19 crisis in hospitals often means that family and friends likely may not be able to visit. Bring what you may need from home.

Papers and information

  • Write down phone numbers for your key contacts to give your medical providers, including the person(s) you designate as your medical decision maker(s) (step 2 above)
  • List of your medications (or bring the pill bottles)
  • Your advance directive or medical wishes information (step 3 above)
  • Plans for your pets or bills while you are away

Equipment

  • Phone, tablet and/or computer and their chargers. This can help you stay connected to family and friends if visitors are not permitted in the hospital.
  • If you use glasses, hearing aids, dentures or other such items, plan to bring them with you. These are often lost in hospitals, so keep watch over them.
  • Ear plugs, sleep masks, books, or clothes you want from home