June is recognized as National Safety Month, and every week we'll be providing you with tips and tricks that seniors and their caregivers can use to preserve their well-being. This week, the focus is placed on emergency preparedness. Disasters like severe weather and medical issues can strike when you least expect it, so it's important to always have a plan in place. There are a few steps family caregivers and seniors living in retirement communities can take to ensure older adults stay safe even in the most trying conditions.
Create a personal network
Older adults should make a point to compile a list of close friends, family members and other individuals who can assist them in the case of an emergency. Of course, there's more to consider than simply assembling a team of people. There are a number of things seniors should go over with their emergency network to make sure everyone is on the same page, the Red Cross notes. For instance, if there's a heavy snow storm, people in the network should know to call to see if seniors need any assistance. It's also a good idea for seniors to give their contacts access to important keys, documents and other information to help the network respond quickly.
Assemble a kit
Creating a personal network is only one step seniors should take to prepare for an emergency - they should also put together a kit of essential items. There are a number of must-have objects, according to the Red Cross. In addition to plenty of water and non-perishable food, seniors should also have a flashlight with extra batteries, multipurpose tools and emergency contact documents with important information, such as details about their medication regimens.
Make a personal plan
Seniors aren't the only people who should be proactive when it comes to emergency preparedness, as caregivers should also play a role in the process. It's important for family caregivers to come up with a plan specific to their loved one in case of an emergency, because their family member might face challenges that are unique to them, such as mobility limitations, reliance on certain medical equipment or cognitive issues. The Administration on Aging urges caregivers to take all of these things into account when it comes to devising a plan for evacuation, staying sheltered in place or extreme heat or cold.
Sunrise of Gilbert recently hosted a wedding reception and family night for two of the community’s beloved Lead Care Managers: Valerie and Fidel.
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