Canadians are increasingly recognizing the value of having an advance care plan and making your wishes known to those who can speak for you if you cannot speak for yourself. But what if there is no one who can advocate on your behalf, or the person you have chosen to communicate your wishes for you is unavailable? E.R.I.K can help.
Created by the Seniors Community Resource Council in Winnipeg, E.R.I.K., or the Emergency Response Information Kit, is a small, easy-to-use home-based kit that quickly and easily communicates important information to first-responders during a medical emergency. The kit can include relevant medical histories and any important preexisting conditions or allergies, as well as advance care plans that document a persons wishes about extreme life-saving measures or end-of-life decisions.
A small, red pouch that can be easily mounted on a fridge or other handy location at home, E.R.I.K. features simple, modifiable instructions printed clearly on the front for first responders, and comes with clips and magnets so it can be attached almost anywhere. The pouch contains pockets to hold a health information form, a blue organ donation card and a living will or advance care plan. Its ideal for those who live alone – especially those who suffer from chronic conditions that can put them at risk of needing emergency care. It can also be vital to those who are unable to communicate with medical staff or suffer from mental illness or dementia.
E.R.I.K. is endorsed by the Winnipeg Fire/Paramedic Service and many of its paramedics are currently undergoing additional training to recognize and use them. Available from the Seniors Community Resource Council, E.R.I.K. will soon be available to seniors and other people in need across the province.