MEDI-SOS is Registered Charity No. 1182893 based in and working on behalf of residents in Buckinghamshire.
How the MEDI-SOS GRAB-BAG came about........
After several traumatic experiences spent with the emergency services, hospital staff and some some very confused elderly friends and neighbours it became clear that their frustrations in communication was an issue.
In one instance, after a heavy early morning fall, and being only half dressed, an elderly neighbour arrived in A&E minus her glasses and hearing aids and was therefore totally bewildered with the process of all going on around her.
Another time, after what was thought to be a stroke, a pensioner friend arrived without their dentures into A&E and had great difficulty explaining that, all they needed was their dentures to converse coherently - he was in fact just seriously dehydrated.
And in another case, an elderly lady, who suffers with Alzheimers, clearly told a policeman her maiden name and childhood address instead of her home address of 40 years, causing major confusion in all quarters.
It was after these episodes and other similar stories that a group of us tried to find a simple way to:
Help the emergency services quickly and efficiently find the information that they need.
Help the elderly person to communicate their problem successfully, with as little stress as possible.
Keep their aids for communication safe when being moved from one environment to another.
We were aware of a system already running in the community - but felt it just didn't go far enough - by stopping short in helping with the most important aspect, communication. The repetition of giving, name, date of birth, medication etc. becomes traumatic particularly to those mentally impaired and it was out of this that the MEDI-SOS GRAB-BAG and its ID form was hatched.
First came the Medi-SOS ID form - With the help of a local GP, health workers and carers, we came up with the 'at-a-glance' form that could also hold a recent copy of a prescription as this might help give a clue to what the problem might be.
The Grab-Bag, followed when it became obvious that many follow-on problems occur after the patient's left home and are separated from their communication aids (glasses, hearing-aids, dentures etc). Without these these personal items everyone becomes exasperated and frustrated.
So every Grab-Bag comes with not only the ID form, but also a sticker pack and a fridge magnet for easy recognition by the emergency services.
Each Grab-Bag costs in the region of a fiver to supply and we have been fortunate enough to have been granted funds by our sponsors everyone working on this project is a volunteer and all monies raised are ploughed back into this project.