Natural disasters can unexpectedly occur at any time and place. Some disasters, such as winter storms or hurricanes, give notice ahead of time. Earthquakes, on the other hand, often come without warning. For that reason, it’s never a bad idea to double-check that you’ve thought of everything before tragedy strikes. Remarkably, emergency preparedness is even more crucial if you live with or help provide care for your parents or other older relatives.
Disaster preparedness for seniors entails more than simply typical supplies like medicine, water, and food. There are specific additional considerations to adopt to safeguard the survival of your senior citizens.
Emergency Preparedness Checklist: What Do Your Seniors Need in An Unexpected Event?
First Aid Kit
It’s critical to be prepared for injuries and emergencies, especially when taking care of your parents. People become more vulnerable to injuries and health crises as they get older. Therefore, family members should ensure that sufficient first aid is available.
Basic first-aid items enable your senior family members to stabilize and manage the wounded until medical help arrives. It also provides you and your family members with peace of mind.
Additional supplies may be required depending on your loved one’s health condition. You should check with your parents or healthcare practitioner to ensure they have all medical necessities.
Durable Medical Equipment (DME)
DME, or Durable Medical Equipment, are supplies ordered by a health care provider for everyday or extended use. It’s important to ensure you or your loved one has the proper equipment in good working order if disaster strikes. This includes:
- Oxygen equipment
- Mobility aids, such as wheelchairs or walking sticks
- Blood sugar monitors
- CPAP machine
- Other portable equipment
Every day, most older adults in the U.S. take various prescription medications to manage diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, and chronic pain. Keeping track of all of these drugs, dosages, and regimens to take them can be difficult for our senior family, especially in an emergency.
You should speak with your loved one’s medical professional about obtaining an extra week’s supply of all their prescription medications to ensure they can stick to their regimen despite inclement weather and closed or inaccessible pharmacies. That being said, keep in mind that prescription and over-the-counter medications do have shelf lives. Dispose of any expired medicines in emergency kits accordingly.
Always make comprehensive arrangements for how your senior family member will get around if they have limited mobility, is bedbound, or is in a wheelchair. If your loved one has previously fallen or is unstable on their feet, a mobility device may be required, including walking sticks, walking frames, and motorized and manual wheelchairs. Having mobility aid preparations in place can be life-saving in the event that severe weather strikes.
Extra Batteries for Hearing Aids
Batteries are indispensable items for hearing aids, and even minor variations in their output might affect hearing performance and noise control. Crucially, hearing aid batteries often lose power unexpectedly, so bringing an extra set of batteries is always a good idea. Moreover, while your senior’s hearing aids are not in use, they should be put in a container to be found promptly in the event of an emergency.
ID and Health Documents
Make copies of key identification and health documents for your beloved seniors in an emergency folder. It’s best to check and ensure they bring a driver’s license, ID card, or insurance card. Additionally, it is also smart to make copies of all health documents and personal information and store them digitally, if possible.
When an emergency occurs, your family members may not be together. Depending on the scenario, roads may be unsafe, plus internet or phone lines may be unavailable. Therefore, you should establish a plan for keeping in touch with one another. Make a list of phone numbers for family, neighbors, friends, and help agencies to complete your emergency preparedness checklist.
It is impossible to predict when disaster will occur, so it is vital to review your emergency preparedness checklist, especially if you are a caregiver for an older loved one. Having a comprehensive emergency plan in place can help your family be prepared for potentially dangerous situations. This checklist will not only help your seniors in practice, but it will also give them peace of mind.
If you have questions about the emergency preparedness checklist or any conditions discussed here, connect with us and learn more.
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