Remember Your Emergency Planning for Frail Senior Citizens

It always pays to be prepared for an emergency at home, and you should always have a good supply of non-perishable food, water as well as a first aid kit in case of a natural disaster. But if you have a disabled or elderly person who lives with you who has had a stroke or has dementia, you will need to take some added precautions:

  • If your loved one is in a wheelchair or suffers from any mobility issues, you should have a careful plan set up for how you will evacuate her. If she has a motorized chair, you should have a manual wheelchair as a back up. You also should make sure that any wheelchair accessories that she has go with you, to make moving her as easy as possible.
  • Be sure that any medical equipment your loved one needs is brought with you. Most emergency shelters do not have any medical equipment that seniors might need. For example, if your loved one has any safety rails or anything on her bed, you will need to make sure you bring this equipment with you, as it will not likely be available.
  • If your loved one is blind or has any visual impairment, you should have an extra cane for the emergency shelter and even put a whistle on it. Remind the loved one to be careful when moving about, as she will be in an unfamiliar place. A cane holder also can be useful in an unfamiliar environment.

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  • For those who are hearing impaired, it is critical to have extra batteries on hand for hearing aids. You should keep those with your emergency supplies. Also, hearing aids can be kept in a container that is attached to your loved one’s nightstand, so they can be found fast in the event of an emergency.
  • Keep ID information handy for your loved one, and also copies of emergency documents, as well as a health information card for her.
  • If you can, it’s a good idea to have a week or two of prescription drugs stored for an emergency too.
  • If she has Alzheimer’s she may still be able to understand that something is amiss. It is important for you to stay calm in the emergency. Provide direction to them and tell them what is going on, but don’t expect them to remember details.

If you remember these tips, you will be able to more easily get your loved one to a safe place with less difficulty.