Preparing for the unexpected can be a challenge at any age. For seniors, diminished physical or mental capabilities often make it difficult to react quickly if an emergency occurs. While there is no way to prepare for every possible emergency situation, there are steps in-home caregivers and seniors can take to ensure optimal preparedness should the unexpected happen.
Identify Risks in the Area
Take a moment to think about what type of natural disasters are likely to take place within the region, especially if your senior loved one recently relocated to a different area. You’ll have different preparedness plans for each type of potential emergency.
Have a General Emergency Response Plan
There are some basic preparations that can ease at least some of the stress that comes with such situations. Dayton elder care professionals urge caregiver to consider the following steps:
• Place personal information (Social Security numbers, insurance forms, wills) in a secure lock box (and make duplicate copies that can be entrusted to other family members in different locations or store copies on a USB flash drive for easy retrieval later)
• Create a support system (especially for senior loved ones with special needs or circumstances like using a wheelchair or having difficulty with movements) that includes family members and medical professionals who can quickly be contacted for assistance
• Maintain a list of emergency phone numbers (fire, police, and ambulance numbers can often be programmed into your loved one’s cellphone for one-touch access).
Practice Fire Evacuations
Fire is the one emergency that’s universal. While it may be an inconvenience, occasional fire drills can help your loved one know what to do if he or she has to suddenly evacuate the home.
Assemble an Emergency Kit
Use a tote bag or something else that’s just as easy to grab and carry in emergency situations to put together some emergency supplies specific to your senior loved one’s needs. Such a kit typically includes:
• An extra change of clothing
• Extra glasses and hearing aids (plus batteries)
• Non-perishable food (the American Red Cross recommends at least three days worth)
• Extra medications (check expiration dates periodically if you have an emergency kit that’s been sitting around for a while)
Having an emergency plan in place is a great year-round strategy to prepare for the worst. However, if you’re concerned simply having a plan in place isn’t enough, it might be time to consider additional help from Home Care Assistance. With hourly or live-in senior care in Dayton, you can be sure your loved one has all the additional support he or she needs on a daily basis and extra help in case of emergency. For more information, give a friendly Care Manager a call at (937) 353-1412 and request a complimentary in-home consultation.