The worst thing in emergencies – regardless of whether we speak about natural disasters, mass evacuations or local issues – is that they catch people unaware. Seniors in particular find it difficult to react quickly to sudden dangers. They can’t just pick up their personal belongings and bolt for the exit, since they depend so heavily on their medication and are usually without a driver’s license, and so are without transportation. That’s why friends and family members should help the aging person come up with emergency plans for all potential situations.
Do Some Reading
Seniors need more than simple streetwise in order to survive natural disasters and emergencies. Since we are talking about a very complex topic, the elderly should brainstorm strategies with their close family members or friends to help make the necessary preparations.
There are also guides that dissect the notion of emergency preparation. There is a free document on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention government site that categorizes the different emergencies or hazards and provides action plans for vulnerable aging adults. The internet as a whole is a good source of information, with several forums and Reddit posts dedicated to emergency readiness.
Create a Personal Support Network
It’s crucial for seniors to have a group of people they can rely on during bad times. A personal support network consists of friends, family members, neighbors and even other seniors from the local community who are all aware of each other’s emergency plans. Prior to the event, the members of this network should notify each other and check who is able to give assistance to those that might need it. It’s important to note that this should be considered a mutual relationship, therefore the aging relative should also be ready to help others whichever way they can.
Members of a personal support network are advised to share important keys, emergency documents – such as a vial of life – and even supplies. They should also agree on a common communication plan that factors in the potential unavailability of telephone lines, including the practice chain-calling each other. Seniors can also volunteer to go check on their peers who live with disabilities or are unable to handle modern technology.
Medical Alert System Functionality During Disasters
Personal emergency response devices are designed to remain operational during a small-scale crisis. For example, the in-home station is fitted with a backup battery that powers the system for up to two days.
48 hours are more than enough to ride out a literal storm, but what if the phone lines are damaged too? For this reason, medical alert companies recommend purchasing a cellular model, because its connection gives it a better chance to avoid being hindered by the weather.
Unfortunately, the usefulness of such a service becomes more questionable during a nationwide disaster. When Hurricane Irma slammed Florida, many residents (including seniors) were forced to leave their home. After returning, several elderly homeowners reported that their medical alert devices were unable to reconnect to the monitoring service due to the massive damage that had been dealt to the communication systems.
Even though the problem was quickly fixed, it doesn’t change the fact that the aging residents would have been unable to call for help if they had decided to remain at home. That’s why it’s so important to prepare for emergencies and have a personal support network to help out in these situations.
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