Just as we want to prepare ourselves and our children for an emergency, we also want to make sure our elderly parents, grandparents, family, and friends are ready for the unexpected. Due to their age, older adults may likely have already experienced an emergency situation or two and know how to react quickly. However, the aging process can also make someone more vulnerable especially if they have a medical condition, mobility limitations, or dementia.
If you are one of many families to have your elderly parents residing with you, you want to make them feel comfortable and safe at all times. If we are not home with them when a disaster occurs they need a well thought out emergency plan. Putting together an emergency kit customized to their needs is essential. There are many good sites with some basic checklists to familiarize yourself with. The CDC has put together some simple things to consider when preparing the elderly for an emergency.
Having a plan in place where a neighbour or friend can stop by to check in on a parent, grandparent, or other family member, will help them feel less anxious or panicked. For those elderly individuals who are still living on their own, evacuating quickly may not be an option and they may have nowhere else to go. Making sure their kits are fully stocked, along with these extra medical supplies, can help them stay comfortable and safe until help arrives. Some senior’s residences hold emergency preparedness workshops and many get their kits at these events. Check through their kit and make sure everything is in good working condition and that food bars and water haven’t expired. Most have a 5 year shelf life. Replacement food and water like these Food Bars and water pouches will make things easy and effortless, saving them from the worries of cooking.
Some additional supplies to think about:
- Extra pair of glasses
- Hearing aids with extra batteries
- Current medications (and photocopies of prescriptions)
- Medical devices (including style and serial number)
- Evacuation plan (and phone numbers of where they can go in an emergency)
- Service animal food or supplies
- Warm blankets and slippers
- Emergency contact list (including Dr. phone number, and pharmacy numbers)
- Family pictures
The effects that an emergency can have on an individual can vary, however exposure to certain conditions caused by a disaster can aggravate chronic ailments for seniors. Ensuring they have enough food, water, medication, and warmth are some of the things to consider when putting together an emergency kit. Taking into account what they need on a daily basis, and what type of disaster is more likely to occur in their area, could mean their survival.