J Painter Refrigerator webAs a senior, memories have become more precious to me than ever! I place visual reminders on every wall space I can find in my home and, yes, on my refrigerator. As I walk into my kitchen, the refrigerator “gallery” pulls me in, forcing me to stop, to look, to smile, to giggle, and even to relax from the anxieties of the world.

J Painter Heart Attack Chart webOn the refrigerator gallery, you will find cartoon snippets, to-do lists, pictures of family and friends, a rosary, drawings, and magnets from special places we have been. What I realized I do not have on my refrigerator are magnets that speak to awareness of signs of a heart attack or stroke.
My husband had a heart attack years ago and ignored the signs. I wonder if we had had magnets posted on our refrigerator reminding us daily of the signs, would he have gone to the emergency room sooner? As we all know, “hindsight is 20/20.” If you would like additional information, please visit stroke.org. Magnets are often provided at no charge by health systems and through your doctor’s office.

Even though I have a smartphone, will those around me fumble to figure out how to find things in my phone or wallet at the time of an emergency? If you have a Physician Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment, commonly known as a POLST, then it should be visible to any emergency medical support person who may need to provide medical care.

A copy should also be kept with you at all times. Please be sure to post it on your refrigerator. More information is available at papolst.org.
This fall, I am VERY thankful for all that I have. I am going to update my refrigerator gallery so I can still stop, look, and giggle, as well as keep informed about medical and other needs.

Please take a minute if you would and tell us at Lifestyles Over 50 what your refrigerator looks like and the memories it holds.


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