The Hot List for Emergency and Family Caregivers

04 Dec

The Hot List for Emergency and Family Caregivers

Our Care To Caregiver program is working on a new Red Emergency Binder (working title) to assist unpaid family caregivers. It’s important to be prepared and armed with all the right information. If you know any caregivers, please share this form with them.


We’ve created this Hot List as a prelude to the binder. It’s vital information about the loved-one you are caring for. It should be on or near your loved-one at all times.   If you are a frequent user of 9-1-1 and emergency services, there is a program called Vial of Life where you can get free decals and print out their form. Many Counties across the US use this program where the EMT and Fire Departments look for the decal.


Our Red Emergency Binder is going to be a “starter kit” and will go into much detail and include such forms as Advanced Directives, Do Not Resuscitate (DNR), Power of Attorney, and Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST). We want this to be a tool to start the conversation, especially if you are taking care of an elderly parent. We’ll give you tips and checklists to get you started. Later we will develop a series of binders that cover about 30 different topics comprehensively. Caregiving is complex, stressful, and simmers big doses of emotions. Our goal is to prepare you…sons, daughters, husbands, wives, family, and friends who are facing caregiving.


In the meantime, our great County of San Diego, Department of Aging and Independence Services (AIS) has produced a really great starter kit. You can get the PDF here:   It’s a great handbook.


We would love to hear from you and get any ideas, topics, or tips that you would like to see. Our mission is to preserve the health and wellbeing of unpaid family caregivers so that you can give the best care to your loved one. And stay sane at the same time!



  1. Anna,
    I saw this piece and wanted to share, not on FB. The idea of helping caregivers prepare a
    “red binder” to gather all essential information in one place seems like a really solid and stress reducing one. I thought you’d like to look at this.

    1. Dear Anna,
      We’d like to see whatever you have found that will help us build the Red Binder. Please email me at
      Thank you so much.

  2. Marissa
    Your website is awesome and a lifesaver, to say the least, I found your article “Being a Caregiver Can Cost You’re your Career” relevant to my current situation. Recently, I lost my job as Dispatcher having a background in Law Enforcement; I’m due to graduate in the Fall of 2018 with my Bachelors in Human Development and Family Science thereby I’m hopeful in maintaining a sense of connectedness. Oddly enough after having grown up in a household where my mom was and is the primary caregiver for my sister, who was hurt while serving in the military, I know all too well the effects and signs of “Caregiver Burnout.”
    My Sister has injured in 1975 which left her as a quadriplegic, entirely dependent on our mother, although the military compensation covered her 100%, I’m not sure if this was a blessing or a curse, at the time I was nine years old. When I said that our mom was the primary caregiver, I mean the only caregiver. Jumping ahead, as time progressed, their roles changed tremendously, as mom would pacify and was there for my sister’s every beck-and-call; mom became isolated from relatives and a healthy social life that she enjoyed. She, of course, had to give up her job, and more importantly her powers as “head of the house” whereas my sister gained the role of “Head of House” and primary decision maker. It wasn’t until I began studying “Family Development” that three words help me to regain my sanity; “Parentification, Adultification and Enmeshment and the importance of setting “Healthy Boundaries.” I know that this might sound crazy but to learn that this phenomenon was tangible and that it occurs more times than I previously realized gave me a sense of solace. I gave my short background to recommend for your Red Binder to include topics on ways that caregivers can maintain their identity and to inform of the dangers of failing to first and foremost take care of themselves. Keep your personal interest and hobbies, continue to socialize with others outside and away from the circle of caregiver.

    1. Marissa,
      Thank you for sharing your first hand observations and experiences. It seems that you have found an invaluable niche in education on Family Development. We would be honored and appreciate you sharing what you’re learning about the dynamics of Parentification, Adultification and Enmeshment as they relate to a family caregiver’s journey. How ever we can help families and bring some enlightenment to their journey so that they can find some solace. We hope to hear more from you soon.


Write a Reply or Comment