Helping the Elderly Prepare for an Emergency

I’ve gotten to that age where I’ve had to deal with aging parents and nursing homes.

In the event of an emergency, I’d like to think that dad will still be able eat it in peace, in the brightness and comfort of electric lights while watching reruns of Red Skelton on the wide screen TV. Unfortunately, this may not be the case.

Emergency preparedness tips for older adults increase their safety during a natural disaster. Creating an emergency kit and plan can take some effort, but it can also mean the difference between developing a serious health issue or surviving the disaster unharmed.

Everything done by an elderly or disabled individual, including the simplest of tasks, might need extra time and work than it does for an able-bodied person. If you have ever cared for an elderly or disabled person – or you are that elderly or disabled person – you know exactly how challenging this situation can be.

If your elderly loved ones are living alone or in a nursing home, here are 6 crucial prepping tips you need to consider – in advance of a crisis – to make sure everyone is prepared for an emergency.

  • Consider health-related matters. Have copies of medications, blood type and allergies that can be handed off to medical teams if necessary.
  • Prescription medications. Speak to the prescribing doctor and ask for three months ahead on medications. Don’t forget any extra inhalers, hearing aids and over-the-counter medications.
  • Be aware of mobility issues. In the event someone may have to be transported or moved, consider what is necessary to travel with them. Make sure wheelchairs, walkers, oxygen tanks, etc., are in good working order, and keep spares if possible. If you’re bugging out in an emergency, your disabled or elderly person will need more time than most to get out of the house or facility and into a vehicle. Be ready to start this process immediately when an emergency arises.
  • Special medical equipment. Are there oxygen tanks, or any items that need power to function? Consider extra batteries and even a solar generator (these do not emit fumes and can be kept indoors) to help power any necessary items.
  • Up-to-date communication. Discuss plans, share where bug-out-bag and supplies are and help them mentally prepare. Also keep a laminated card with important emergency phone numbers and names that can be kept in a visible place. Ask nursing homes or communities what their emergency plans are and how they handle evacuations.
  • Bug out Bags still apply. Having an emergency kit on hand is still necessary. Keep water, food, blankets and extra clothes in an additional bag that can be easily grabbed on the go.
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