No matter where you live in the country, you are likely in a geographic area that can be affected by a natural disaster. While able-bodied adults may not think much about creating an emergency plan for a natural disaster, for those that are responsible for kids, disabled adults or elderly relatives should spend time putting such a plan together. Elderly adults are especially vulnerable during a natural disaster, and it’s important for family caregivers and elderly care providers to have a plan and know what to do in the event of an emergency.
What Natural Disasters to Plan For?
Having an effective emergency plan in place for a senior is important, but first family caregivers must consider what emergencies might occur in the first place. The most common natural disasters in the United States include flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, wildfires, blizzards, volcanoes and extreme heat and cold waves. Different geographical regions are susceptible to certain natural disasters while having no chance of certain others. Local emergency services can help family caregivers develop emergency plans for seniors based on the most likely natural disasters for the area.
What Does an Emergency Plan Look Like for Seniors?
Most emergency plans for natural disasters cover two aspects—evacuation and sheltering in place. For an evacuation, most adults would be able to get to a safe zone under their own power. However, seniors with mobility issues are often dependent on family caregivers or elderly care providers for help. If they struggle to go from room to room alone, it can seem impossible to follow an evacuation plan. However, there are all kinds of resources available to help family caregivers come up with a way for seniors and elderly care providers to evacuate if necessary.
Sheltering in place is another way for elderly adults to handle some natural disasters. What this means is staying in place and securing the location as best they can to remain safe and unharmed until help can arrive. Sheltering in place may require elderly adults and elderly care providers to be without certain modern amenities like electricity or running water. It requires family caregivers to create some preparedness kits with food, water, medicine, a communication device and more so their aging loved one can shelter in place until rescue teams arrive.
Family Caregivers, Elderly Care Providers and Emergency Plans
Just coming up with an emergency plan for seniors to handle a natural disaster isn’t the end of the family caregiver’s responsibilities. Once a plan is in place and preparations are made, the family caregiver, elderly care provider and the senior themselves need to practice enacting it periodically and review it to make any necessary updates. Materials and preparedness resources need to be gathered and put into place, from creating an emergency kit to mapping out an evacuation route as well as a backup.
It’s never too late to create an emergency plan for natural disasters as far as elderly adults are concerned. A little preparation now can mean saving a few precious minutes when an emergency actually happens.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elderly Care Services in Greer SC, please contact the caring staff at Upstate Home Care Solutions today. Call (864) 527-0455.
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