Joanne MacInnis, RN, wants estate planning professionals to know that medical emergencies are an almost certainty in the business. And more importantly, that you need to make sure your clients are prepared.
“It’s not if your client has a medical crisis; it’s when,” MacInnis, president of Aberdeen Home Care, Inc., told members of the Essex County Estate Planning Council at an educational breakfast held at Spinelli’s on May 17.
“You really want to empower your people to be safe when you’re not standing there, and that’s where I come in,” said MacInnis, who is a member of the ECEPC Board of Directors.
Aberdeen offers customized patient care, with a focus on supporting and enabling elders to remain in their own homes. And as part of their regular practice, MacInnis and her team ensure that their clients are in possession of a set of very important documents so that they, along with their families and doctors, are prepared in the event of a medical emergency.
During the breakfast, MacInnis reviewed these documents, and how they can help trusted advisors play an active role in the protection of their clients. Some of these documents, which MacInnis advises her clients to keep in an accessible place in the home, include:
- An emergency medical information card
- A Massachusetts Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment form (or MOLST), copies of which can be downloaded from www.most-ma.org.
- A Health Care Proxy
- A Client Emergency Plan
Joanne said the Client Emergency Plan – which, in Aberdeen’s case includes basic medical information, emergency contacts and medical instructions based on a specific set of scenarios – can be tailored to meet a specific client’s needs.
“This is just another tool,” she said. “You can make up your own tool. It’s a conversation starter.”
And these conversations, though difficult, are essential to make sure that all parties interested in a person’s well bring are on the same page when it comes to emergency medical care.
“These documents really are a care map,” said MacInnis.