Are you sure you can help your older kids in a medical emergency?

Unless you have 2 legal documents signed by your child, medical providers have to treat you like a stranger — and that’s the law.

Did you know your college “kid” is an independent adult when it comes to their medical care?

At age 18, everyone becomes responsible for their own medical decisions as an adult unless they give consent for others to be informed or involved in their care. Verbal consent works.  But what if your adult child is unconscious or compromised in some other way – and faced with a decision about surgery and medical treatments?

Even in an emergency, doctors and nurses can’t share health care information with you. A worst-case scenario for everyone.

Think about your older kids, too!

Even after your they are “officially launched” in jobs and careers, your family may want peace of mind that you can be there for each other during medical care, no matter what.

For peace of mind…

Download free Medical Power of Attorney and HIPAA Release forms from any reputable source for the state where your adult child goes to school or lives. These sources are free, generally at state government sites.

Make copies of these forms for everyone, including the health center at school and your child’s doctors. If your child has an electronic medical record, upload the completed forms there, too.  (By the way, be sure to have all login info for their patient portals!)

If your child and you have ICE (In Case of Emergency) directories on your phones, make sure that all listed have copies, too.

Take pictures of the completed forms  and store them on your phones (Be sure the signature pages are clear!) They will always be at your fingertips – such a comfort in a crisis.

Then, once your get these documents in order, let’s hope and pray you never need them!