September 3, 2021
Seniors can be hit hard by disasters because they may not be able to evacuate their homes. Seniors who have adaptive devices, non-portable medical equipment, or medical equipment that is dependent on electricity can find themselves in dire situations very quickly in a natural disaster. Extreme weather conditions caused by a lack of electricity can also put seniors at risk. No matter where your senior loved one lives you should help them be ready to get through a natural disaster or prolonged electrical failure. Homecare can help with this.
If your senior loved one has medical equipment that they rely on or if you live in an area where they would suffer from extreme heat or cold without electricity you should make sure that your senior parents have a generator and know how to use it. If your loved ones have a home care assistance provider make sure that the provider knows where the generator is kept and how it works. It’s a good idea to write down a disaster plan with key information and keep it somewhere easily accessible like in the kitchen. You may want to consider having a house generator installed directly so that your senior parents won’t have to worry about getting a generator running or whether or not they have gas to run it.
Talk to your senior loved one’s neighbors and see if one of them would be willing to take responsibility to check on your parent if an emergency arises. You may not be able to get there right away if the roads are impassable so having a neighbor who can make sure they are ok or summon medical help if necessary is very important. Make sure that the neighbor who says they will help has all of your contact information and a key to your loved one’s house so that they can get inside during an emergency even if your senior parents can’t get to the door.
The best thing you can do to prepare for an emergency is to make sure that your senior loved ones have enough supplies to get through up to a week. Put the supplies in the mudroom, a garage, or a storage shed that has been weatherproofed. Don’t put them in a basement or an attic that your parents wouldn’t be able to easily access. Make sure there is plenty of water, non-perishable food, toilet paper, baby wipes, adult diapers if your parents need them, blankets, pillows, extra clothing, toiletries, soap, and other essentials. You might also want to get some emergency cash and store it in the house in a safe place. During disasters, cash can be hard to come by. You also should get them an approved NOAA disaster radio and some CBs or other communication devices that will work even if cell service goes down. Homecare is a great option for assistance with this.