As a family caregiver it is not just your responsibility to make sure that your parent’s current needs, challenges, and limitations are addressed. Instead, you must also keep in mind the potential dangers and risks that they could face, and the steps that you can take to help them deal with these dangers and risks so that they can stay safer and healthier throughout their later years.
September is National Preparedness Month.
This is the ideal opportunity for you to learn more about the potential risks that your parent might face and to take meaningful steps to prepare them, their home, and your care routine to help them handle emergencies should they arise.
Some special considerations that should be made when preparing the elderly for emergencies include:
- Go paperless. If your aging parent relies on funds from pension checks or other such monthly checks, keep in mind that disasters can result in mail being delayed and your parent not being able to get to the bank to cash them. Consider going paperless with automatic deposit of these benefits so that your parent can access them reliably.
- Be medication ready. Talk to your parent’s doctor about the medications and treatments that your parent needs and how they can handle this need if an emergency strikes. This might mean having access to an emergency prescription so that they can get a refill or being sure that your parent has a supply in their emergency kit so that if they need to leave the home, they are ready. Make sure to also discuss how your parent will keep up with their treatments if they need to go to a clinic or hospital for regular procedures.
- Alert utility companies. Contact your parent’s utility companies and alert them that there is a senior living in the home. Many companies keep a list of vulnerable customers and will strive to restore utilities to those homes as a priority. This is particularly important if they have medical needs that require electricity or water.
- Pack their kit. Work with your parent to pack their emergency kit with the supplies that they might need to get them through an emergency. This should include water, non-perishable food, clothing, blankets, first aid supplies, toiletries, medications, communication devices, and other items that will carry them through.
- Create an emergency plan. Build a care network with friends, family members, and neighbors and ensure that everyone is aware of your parent’s health, challenges, and limitations that might make it a struggle for them to get through emergency situations effectively. Work with this network to devise an emergency plan that includes a phone tree, evacuation plans, and plans for who your parent could stay with if they are not able to get to a shelter or should not stay in a shelter.
If you feel that your parent’s needs or challenges are too much for you to handle their care successfully, or you feel that they would simply benefit from additional support and assistance, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting home care for them. As a family caregiver, knowing that your aging parent has the highly personalized services of an in-home care provider can give you peace of mind and reassure you that they will get everything that they need both when you are with them and when you are not. This care provider’s services can fill care gaps that exist in your routine and offer your parent additional benefits such as reliable transportation, dedicated companionship, and professional care to help them manage their individual challenges and limitations. This can reduce your stress and ensure that you are able to focus on other obligations in your life as well.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring caregiver services in Westfield, 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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