I have spent a decade conducting educational workshops and meeting with individuals transitioning to Medicare or already there. I encourage everyone to explore resources at www.socialsecurity.gov and www.medicare.gov to become knowledgeable before services are needed. I also stress the importance of keeping Medicare cards, medication lists, the names of your physicians and any ongoing health conditions on hand. Designating a family member or trusted friend with the information is essential.
Recently, I dealt with my mother’s sudden and unexpected illness. When she was rushed to the hospital by ambulance, she was not in good shape; she would not have been able to provide insurance cards or any information. I was not far behind and was able to provide the triage nurse with current insurance cards, a list of her medications, when they were last taken and the name of her primary care physician. Within a few hours, a hospitalist told me
my mom had only four minutes to four hours to live. The physician started a course of antibiotics and fluids and everyone prayed. The intervention changed the course of her condition.
Within 48 hours, my mom was breathing on her own. I then completely devoted myself to the restoration of my mother’s health. I work side by side daily with therapists, social workers and physicians to assist with her care. I am grateful the Medicare program exists and for the opportunity to see how well it works in an emergency situation.