Emergency planning

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. Having a plan in place can ease worry and stress when unforeseen events do occur.

Emergency care plans

An Emergency Care Plan is a document that provides instructions and guidance to allow someone else to step in and provide the care which you would normally provide. An Emergency Care Plan can give you reassurance that if anything should happen to you, the person you care for will still receive the support they need.

You may like to print this sample ‘Emergency Care Plan’ originally developed by Carers WA.

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 the 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

The Emergency Care Plan includes a Carer Emergency Card. A Carer Emergency Card can be placed in your wallet and will help notify others that you are a carer and that somebody else depends upon you for their wellbeing. The Carer Emergency Card contains the contact details of people who can help in an emergency.

You can get free cards from your Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre.  
You can contact them on 1800 052 222

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.



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Carers NSW acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land, Elders past and present and all Aboriginal people.