As a caregiver, you’re probably pretty organized when it comes to the care of your aging relative. You may have supplies on hand and a plan in place for medical emergencies. You may know exactly who to call on when the older adult needs something fixed around their house or when they need help running an errand. But, one thing some family caregivers fail to do is to plan for what would happen to their older family member if a disaster, like a tornado or fire, were to strike. Having a disaster plan in place could save their life and make it possible for them to reunite with caregivers afterward. Below are some tips for preparing seniors to survive a disaster.
Learn About Disasters and Community Resources.
One thing caregivers should know when preparing older adults for potential disasters is which disasters may occur where the senior lives. Is the area prone to tornadoes? Wildfires? Earthquakes? Once you know what could happen, you’ll be better able to develop a plan. Also, find out if the senior’s community has designated evacuation shelters or other resources in place.
Special Planning Considerations.
Making a disaster preparedness plan for an older adult can be a little more complicated than for younger people. Some things to consider are:
- If the senior has mobility problems, how will they get safely out of their home if necessary?
- How will seniors who have difficulty with communication tell emergency workers who they are and about their special needs?
- Does the senior have pets or a service animal that will need care?
Make a Disaster Kit.
Caregivers should help older adults to put together a disaster kit that includes all of the essentials for surviving if they have to evacuate their home. The kit should contain enough to get them through at least three days. Some tips for assembling the kit are:
- Consider putting supplies in a container with wheels so the older adult can move it easily.
- Label the kit with the senior’s name and other identifying information.
- Review the kit at least every six months to make sure all of the items are up to date.
It’s important that seniors and caregivers know how to reconnect after a disaster. Make a plan for whom the senior should contact in the event of a disaster. Pick someone who lives out-of-town for the senior to contact. It’s important that the person not live in the same town since the senior will need someone who probably has not been affected by the same disaster. Both the senior and caregivers should check in with that person when a disaster strikes.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering caregiver services in Bellmore, NY, please call the caring staff at Companion Home Care of Long Island. Senior Home Care serving Suffolk, Nassau and Queens Counties. Turn your questions into answers. Call Today (631) 884-0005
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