It’s rare to live somewhere in the United States that isn’t in some kind of natural disaster strike zone, from hurricanes and tornadoes to flooding, ice storms, earthquakes, and wildfires. Other emergencies might include a terrorist attack or gas leak. During National Preparedness Month, government agencies like the Federal Emergency Management agency and state and local authorities are encouraging everyone to take the necessary steps to prepare for emergencies.
Seniors are at risk for not having adequate emergency preparedness plans in place. That’s because many depend on friends and family for their elderly care. Family caregivers must ensure they and their elderly relatives are ready to go in case disaster strikes.
What is Emergency Preparedness?
Being prepared for an emergency generally means that people make short-term survival preparations so that they can weather any number of incidents before state and federal emergency aid arrives. The focus on National Emergency Preparedness Month includes creating an emergency supply kit, making a household emergency plan, and becoming educated on the different kinds of issues and resources available to them. Family caregivers can take advantage of all the preparedness information and activities set up by preparedness groups to get themselves and their elderly relatives ready to go.
Creating Emergency Plans for Elderly Relatives.
Family preparedness is important for members of all ages, but for those with the responsibility of an elderly relative, there are some extra preparations that should be considered. One of the most essential preparedness steps is creating an emergency kit for each person. Here’s what a senior’s emergency kit should include:
- 1 gallon of water per person per day, enough for 3 days.
- Ready to eat food that doesn’t require cooking, enough for 3 days.
- A set of clothing.
- Copies of identification, medical insurance cards, and any health information.
- A battery-powered radio.
- Essential prescription medicines.
- Necessary medical supplies, such as hearing aid batteries and extra glasses.
- Emergency contact list.
- Extra cash.
- Manual wheelchair unless the elderly person is very mobile.
Place everything into an easy-to-carry duffle bag or backpack and keep it next to the wheelchair somewhere in the house where it is accessible but out of the way. Label the bag and the wheelchair with the person’s name and address. Let family members and home care aides know where the emergency kit for the elderly person is stored in case disaster strikes while the family caregiver is away.
Family caregivers can collect everything their elderly relative needs in their emergency kit. Then, it’s important for the whole family to create a disaster action plan, review it often and practice it a few times per year. It’s especially important to work out how to communicate and connect with each other in the event of an evacuation. Making sure there’s a plan in place is one of the best ways to ensure proper elderly care during an emergency.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Danville, CA, contact the caring staff at Provident Home Care. Call today (877) 572-3411.
Robin Conley RN., Owner and CEO of Provident Care Home Care Providing HOME CARE- ASSISTED LIVING PLACEMENT ASSISTANCE
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