Emergency planning is an important part of being a caregiver. Disasters can happen with little warning, but with preparation, you can keep your aging loved one safe. Use these tips to help you handle unexpected emergencies.
Contacts & Care Planning
During an emergency, you may not be able to use the phone or travel, making it important to have nearby contacts who are willing to check on your loved one after a disaster. Create a care plan with several neighbors, relatives, or nearby friends who can check in with your loved one after an emergency situation. Your emergency contacts should have keys to the residence and know where your emergency supplies are stored.
If you have the help of a professional caregiver, make sure he or she has a copy of your emergency contacts list. Many older adults are choosing to age in place, and some need a helping hand to continue living at home safely and comfortably. Luckily, there is professional at-home care seniors can trust and rely on.
Emergency Supply Kit
Basic emergency supplies are a must-have. A basic emergency kit includes food, water, clothing, and blankets for every person in the household. As a caregiver, you should also include a supply of your loved one’s medicines and a copy of your emergency care plan. Include contact information for your loved one’s doctor and people in your extended support network. Other emergency basics include extra incontinence supplies, toiletries, and a basic first aid kit that contains bandages, over-the-counter medicines, and antiseptics.
A professional caregiver can help you put together a complete emergency kit for your loved one. Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to assisted living facilities. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading Colorado Springs elder care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.
Make copies of important paperwork and store the documents in a waterproof bag along with your emergency supplies. Documents may include your loved one’s birth certificate, copies of legal documents such as a power of attorney, and a copy of your loved one’s most recent medical file. You can save these types of documents on a USB drive or on a secure cloud-based server if you live in a region that’s prone to serious natural disasters, such as hurricanes or tornadoes. Make sure to keep your USB drive in a waterproof container, and check the drive occasionally to update files as needed.
Seniors with dementia and related diseases can feel overwhelmed or confused during emergencies. Keep familiar items, such as a favorite blanket, nearby to comfort your loved one. To keep your loved one safe, add name tags to his or her clothing, and make sure your local police department has an updated photo of your loved one on file. In an emergency, those with Alzheimer’s or dementia are at greater risk than other seniors. Using name tags and keeping local authorities updated helps others easily identify your loved one if you become separated during a disaster.
An evacuation plan is essential in the event of a natural disaster. If possible, leave as soon as you become aware of a weather condition that may pose a serious risk to your loved one. Leaving early allows you to skip packed freeways and travel at a pace that’s comfortable for your loved one. You should have both your route and destination planned well in advance.
If you’re concerned about ensuring your loved one’s safety in case of an emergency, consider hiring an around-the-clock caregiver. Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Colorado Springs 24-hour care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Home Care Assistance. Reach out to one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (719) 822-1229.