If you have one, your home emergency preparedness checklist probably contains essential items such as drinking water, non-perishable food, first aid supplies, flashlights, and extra batteries. Since getting stranded at home or having to evacuate in a hurry are also possible scenarios for older loved ones, helping them prepare for the unexpected must be a priority. As a family caregiver, here’s how to help those special seniors in your life plan for an emergency when all eyes are on you.
How to Keep Your Senior Safe
Millions of older adults live with mobility issues that diminish their ability to escape threats when their safety and survival weight are in the balance.
While helping them plan for a severe weather event or natural disaster, be sure to include these in your senior’s emergency preparedness game plan:
ID and health documents
Help them pack a bug-out bag with copies of their driver’s license and insurance cards, along with other important documents such as power-of-attorney (POA), advanced medical directives, a list of key contacts, and a complete medication list.
Talk with your loved one’s doctor about obtaining an extra week’s supply of all their prescription medications. This will help your seniors remain medication-compliant even when their pharmacy is closed or inaccessible.
Personal care items
Your senior may require specific supplies to ensure their hygiene and comfort. Be sure to stock their emergency kit with essential supplies like incontinence aids, bathing products, latex gloves, toilet paper, and commode liners. While you’re at it, don’t forget personal care items such as face masks, garbage bags, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and paper towels.
Food and water
Stock your loved one’s survival kit with enough non-perishable food and bottled drinking water for at least three days. Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and veggies, along with protein and fruit bars, dry cereal, granola, and peanut butter, make great additions to any bug-out bag. Don’t forget to include a can opener and utensils.
Durable medical equipment
In the event of an evacuation, most emergency shelters do not have durable medical equipment (DME) available on-site – which means older adults must bring their own. If your loved one uses DME like a mobility aid (cane, walker, etc.), CPAP device, oxygen equipment, or blood sugar monitor, have a contingency plan in place.
First aid kit
Although this is a “no-brainer,” be sure that your loved one’s emergency kit contains first aid supplies like clean bandages, antibiotic ointment, small scissors, and antiseptic wipes.
If your loved one is blind or visually impaired, keep an extra cane by their bed with an attached whistle. Remind them to move around with caution during or immediately after an emergency, as items in the home may have shifted. As an added safety precaution, include an extra pair of glasses or other required visual aids in their emergency kit.
Anyone who is hearing impaired should also include extra batteries for their hearing aids in their emergency supplies. When not in use, store hearing aids in a labeled container located in a designated space – for example, your senior’s nightstand – so they can quickly be found in an emergency.
Backup communication plan
Since your family may be separated when disaster strikes, devise a plan for how you will contact one another when road travel isn’t possible and normal communication channels are down.
Place a list of key contacts such as family, friends, local shelters, and aid organizations, in a watertight bag. Include your loved one’s other eldercare team members in your communication plan and determine a safe place where you all can rendezvous once traveling by road is feasible again.
A Reliable Part of Your Emergency Preparedness Plan
Trying to keep aging loved ones safe from a distance during an emergency can be stressful. Senior1Care is your trusted partner in providing quality, compassionate home care services to seniors living in Elkhart, Dunlap, Jamestown, and Goshen, IN. Our experienced caregivers are trained to deliver professional, reliable care in the same respectful and friendly manner that they would treat their family members. At Senior1Care, we understand that having a caregiver in your loved one’s home is a decision that requires trust. Our goal is to build relationships with clients by listening to their needs and providing the highest level of quality care possible. We are committed to helping your loved ones maintain their well-being, independence, and comfort. To learn more about our flexible caregiving options or schedule a FREE assessment for a senior in the greater Elkhart, IN, area, visit us by clicking here now.