Most carers focus on the here and now of caring and it can be hard to find time to make emergency and long term plans.
Most carers focus on the here and now of caring and it can be hard to find time to make emergency and long term plans or to make sure that your expertise is passed on to people who can cover for you.
When you care for somebody who depends on you, putting your life on hold while you deal with sudden illness, accidents, family troubles or emergencies may not be an option. It is important to plan ahead.
Emergency care plans
Making an emergency plan gives you and the person you care for the reassurance that there will be somebody to step in when they are needed and that they will have instructions to guide them.
The Australian government publishes a sample Emergency Care Plan.
Create your plan
Your Emergency Care Plan lists contact details of the people who have agreed to give emergency support to the person you care for. It also includes instructions on the type of care they may need to provide:
- Think about the best people to stand in for your caring responsibilities and ask if they are prepared to act as emergency contacts.
- It is important that your emergency contacts accept the level of commitment they are taking on and that they understand and are comfortable with the types of tasks they might need to perform.
- Fill in the plan. It includes health information about the person you care for, their medications, the care they need, and a list of regular support services they receive. There is also room to record the expectations you have for the person who steps into the caring role.
- Give a copy of your plan to each of your emergency contacts. Go through it with them and make sure they understand what is required.
- Keep the original in a safe but visible place.
- Update your plan every year or sooner if there are significant changes to your caring situation.
Let people know you are a carer
Your Carer Emergency Card is designed to let people know that somebody depends upon you for their wellbeing and to give the contact details of people who can help in an emergency.
You can get free cards from your local respite and carer support service. Click here to download a free card from the Carer Gateway. Keep your card up to date and carry it with you at all times.
You should also include the details of your emergency contacts if you carry a Medic-Alert card or wear a Medic-Alert bracelet or necklace.
Guardianship and Administration applications in hospital
This information is for Victorian carers in situations where hospital staff are recommending that an older person should be discharged to residential aged care against their wishes.
This information is intended to assist you to navigate the hospital system, understand your rights, what you can do to ensure that you are involved in planning for discharge from hospital and where to go for assistance and information.
Securing Their Future: Planning for the future when you care for a person with disability
This booklet is written for parents, relatives or significant others in the lives of Victorians with a decision-making disability.
A decision-making disability means that the person cannot make everyday decisions for himself or herself. This can be as a result of:
- an intellectual or cognitive disability
- a mental or emotional illness
- an acquired brain injury
- an inability to communicate decisions.
If you need to help the person you care for make daily decisions, and something happens to you, you may be concerned about their care.
Enduring powers of attorney
It is important for everybody in your family to know who has been appointed to support decision-making and/or to make important decisions when someone is no longer able to do this for themselves.
For up to date information on Enduring Powers of Attorney, advance care directives and medical treatment decision making, visit