The orange bottle is small but it could make a big difference in a medical emergency. The Orange Bottle Program, sponsored by Safeway, is a project of Vernon Seniors Branch 6 BCOAPO that provides the orange bottle and a decal for the outside of the refrigerator. People can fill out their medical information and put the bottle in the refrigerator so that paramedics or anyone else helping can find it as necessary.
“We know that sometimes when people have had an accident or are sick that they may be upset and incoherent and not remember everything. They might even be unconscious, but if their medical information is there in the orange bottle, they can get the best possible care as soon as possible,” said Judy Albrecht, with BCOAPO. “I know this works because I know someone who was being checked on by LifeLine and since she had the orange bottle in her fridge, they called her daughter right away and she was at the hospital before the ambulance got my friend there. The paramedics told my friend she was unusually well prepared and everything turned out well.”
The form that goes into the bottle has space for personal details, including who to contact, health conditions, medications being taken, family doctor, and other information about things like allergies, dietary supplements or chronic conditions. It is up to the individual to keep all the information up to date.
“You hope you never have to use this but it’s there if you do. It only takes 10 minutes to fill it out and you can get a family member or caregiver to help you with it. You could also ask your pharmacist for help with the medications,” said Albrecht.
“There are about 70 of the bottles being used in the community now and we hope to have all seniors use them. It is a good idea for everyone.”
Ed Tanaka, who is also on the Orange Bottle program committee, said a person does not have to be a senior to take part in the program.
“This could save your life as time is of the essence when you are sick or hurt.”
The BCOAPO keeps active in the community with a variety of programs to help seniors, including presenting resolutions on concerns to government through the provincial organization. It has meetings the third Tuesday of each month with speakers on a variety of issues, and also has social activities.
The bottle is available with membership in the BCOAPO, which is $10, but thanks to the financial support of Safeway, half the cost of membership is covered. Seniors can stop by Southward Medical Supplies in Vernon and pick up everything they need for just $5.
For more information, please call Bobby-Jo Carswell at Southward Medical Supplies, 250-542-3334.