If your elderly family member only has the barest of preparations in place for a possible emergency, now might be the time to remedy that. It’s a good idea to make sure she’s got what she needs in case she needs to leave her home in a hurry.
You Need a Plan
You can’t plan for every single emergency, of course, but you can try to plan for most problems. You know, for instance, whether hurricanes are a potential problem in your area, so you can put a plan together for that. Assess also what your senior’s current situation is and what her plans are for the near future. If she wants to continue living on her own for a time, you need to have a plan in place for getting to her in an emergency.
Make Sure You’ve Got an Emergency Supply Kit
Supplies can make or break your response to an emergency. Ideally you should have everything in one bag that is easy for you or your senior to grab on the way out. Food items that are preferably non-perishable and water need to go in the bag. You’ll also want to make sure there’s a change of clothing, including a jacket or coat if the weather is cold. First aid kits, flashlights, and batteries are also all helpful. Check on the kit regularly to make sure everything is still safe to use.
You Also Need Important Papers and Medications
On top of the basic items in an emergency kit, your senior may also need important documents, like identification and insurance papers, as well as an emergency supply of medications. This is especially important if your elderly family member needs those medications in order to stay alive. In fact, some of the emergency paperwork might be backup prescriptions. Keep these items in zippered plastic bags to help keep them as dry as possible.
Ensure Everyone Knows Where to Find the Emergency Kit
You’ve put a lot of time and effort into preparing this kit for your senior. Make sure that she knows where it is so that if an emergency strikes, she’s got what she needs. If elder care providers are helping her, make sure that they know where to find the kit, too. It’s got to be out of the way for daily life but easy to access when your elderly family member needs it most.
This isn’t about making sure that you cover every single situation. It’s more about making sure that your senior is as prepared as possible for something that hopefully won’t happen.