5 Steps to Help Seniors Develop an Emergency Response Plan

By July 23, 2014Care Planning

In honor of disaster education and awareness month, why not take the time to sit down and formulate a plan for emergency preparedness? Friends, family members and senior caregivers can help tailor an age-appropriate response, keeping in mind that, as people age, their needs and physical capabilities change.

Ready to develop a plan with your senior loved one? Here’s how you can get started:

1. Identify risks that are specific to your area
Common natural disasters to consider will mainly depend on a senior’s location. Find out if the region is known for hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, blizzards, floods, forest fires or other natural disasters. The type of disaster will dictate the reaction and response.

2. Come up with a plan
Make the planning process super simple. Utilize the free family emergency plan form on Ready.gov to record contact information, Social Security numbers, medications, health conditions and health insurance information.

3. Decide who’s in the network
For seniors with special needs or those requiring in-home eldercare, a solid support network is vital. Great ideas include family, friends, neighbors, doctors, organizations or place of worship. Be sure to include contacts that are both local and out-of-town residents.

4. Have an emergency kit on hand at all times
Remember the saying “better safe than sorry”? This is one adage that certainly rings true during an emergency or natural disaster. Seniors and their caregivers should pack the kit with:

  • Three days of water and non-perishable food items
  • A one week supply of daily medications
  • Batteries for hearing aids
  • Hard copies of identifying documents, including birth certificates, Medicare cards, Social Security cards and banking information
  • 5. Store adequate survival items safely within the home
    When storing survival supplies, try to put everything in containers that are easy to reach and easy to transport. For seniors, it’s a good idea to store survival items in containers that come with rolling wheels. Remember to label each bag or container, thoroughly documenting what’s inside each one. It’s also a good idea to label durable medical equipment, including the senior’s name, address and phone number.

    Image Credit – http://365wellbeing.aalto.fi/wp-content/uploads/Kauniainen_11-1024×683.jpg

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