Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, National Preparedness Month brings numerous agencies and organizations together with a common goal. That goal is to get every household to be better prepared for emergencies like natural disasters. When elderly people are part of the household, there need to be some extra measures in place to make sure their needs are taken care of. Family caregivers must include senior care as part of their overall emergency preparedness plans.
Prepare Now for a Future Emergency.
Whenever there is a disaster, from hurricanes and tornadoes to earthquakes and floods, rescue workers on the local, state, and even federal level will get there as quickly as possible. However, there is always going to be some delay before true help can arrive. That’s why it’s important for individuals to be prepared with emergency supplies and plans, so they can get by with minimal problems.
A few ideas for emergency preparedness when elderly people are concerned include an emergency kit with all the basics and a few items to meet their special needs. An extra set of clothing and any hygiene items the elderly relatives might need are also important. Family caregivers should take care to include any dietary requirements that their elderly relatives may need in an emergency. Having a discussion with the elderly person about possible evacuation or shelter in place scenarios can help them get used to the idea. In case something ever happens, they will be less likely to panic or feel afraid.
Focus on Medical Needs.
Seniors often have a number of medical conditions that make it difficult for them to go for long without care. In an emergency situation, many areas won’t have access to power, food, medicines, and even medical care for a while. It’s up to the family caregiver to ensure that the elderly person is as prepared as possible when it comes to senior care during a disaster.
The most important thing will be to include extra prescription medication, especially the kind that influence an elderly person’s health and wellness. Any other medical necessities should be part of the emergency kit for sheltering in place or evacuating. This could include batteries for hearing aids, oxygen tanks, first aid kit, and a manual wheelchair if they are not very mobile. Other important steps include making and keeping copies of medical and insurance cards plus medical history information (like blood type and allergies). Everything should go into an easy to carry bag, like a backpack, in case of evacuation.
Include Seniors in National Preparedness Month.
Family caregivers do a fine job of caring for their elderly relative’s daily needs when all is well and everything is under control. However, when there is an emergency or a natural disaster, it’s much harder to provide that level of care and support. Taking advantage of the resources available for National Preparedness Month can really give caregivers the extra boost they need to ensure that their senior care emergency plans are ready to go when disaster strikes.
If you have a loved one who could benefit from senior care in Berkeley, CA, contact the caregivers at A Better Living Home Care Agency. We help seniors and their families with many levels of home care. Call 925-566-2366 for more information.