While emergencies may be few and far between, it’s important to be prepared and help your aging parent be ready as well should a natural disaster occur. As the family caregiver, having a plan in place and the necessary supplies can make all the difference. Just ask one of the many families that have been through a hurricane, tornado, flood, earthquake or fire.
A Plan for your Parent
- Discuss in detail the first steps your parent should take if a natural disaster should occur. This includes discussing the best routes to take from their home and where they should go if they need to get out of their home fast and cannot drive.
- Discuss with family, friends or neighbors who the responsible party is for checking on your parent and taking them to safety. This often falls to the family caregiver; however, if a neighbor is willing to take this role, the closer the better in order to undertake the quickest evacuation.
- Discuss the places in your parent’s home that provide the safest environment depending on the type of emergency.
- Determine the place you and your family members will meet. This is often a location where the Red Cross would generally set up a shelter.
- Obtain a medical emergency response system for your parent. Pendants are usually worn around their neck or wrist and provide a push button system that they can use to call for help should an emergency occur.
- Place emergency numbers near the phone.
- Discuss emergency plans with their in-home care provider.
- Set-up an emergency kit.
Place supplies in a backpack or tote bag—something that is easy for your loved one to carry. Place a first-aid kit inside as well as a list of medications and a list of allergies. If you can, keep Can extra supply of prescriptions in the bag. Place an extra-set of eyeglasses and hearing-aids, if needed. Include contact information regarding who should be called should your parent be injured. Make the list simple—such as the family caregiver—and allow this person to contact the remaining family to prevent confusion.
The Older Americans Act
The Older Americans Act authorizes the Administration on Aging (AOA) to provide assistance to the elderly through State Agencies on Aging. Their National Disaster Preparedness and Response Office works with emergency organizations to assist older people in the areas of meals, transportation, housing and finance.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring caregiver services in Cranford, NJ, call the caring staff at Helping Hands Home Care today at 908-418-4299. Providing Home Care Services in all of Northern and Central NJ, including Clark, Westfield, Cranford, Scotch Plains, Rahway, Linden, Summit, Edison, Elizabeth, Mountainside and the surrounding areas.
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