September is National Preparedness Month and it’s a great time for seniors and their families to make sure that their disaster kits are fully stocked and ready to go in case there is a disaster like a fire, flood, or a prolonged power outage. Because seniors who are aging at home are particularly vulnerable in the case of emergencies it’s absolutely essential for seniors to have a disaster plan in place and to have a well-stocked disaster kit. Home care assistance for seniors is also important. If you can’t get to your senior loved one in an emergency home care assistance can make sure that your senior parent is safe at home and make sure they are taken care of. Four of the most important items for seniors to have in their disaster kit are:
Seniors can quickly get dehydrated, so it’s critically important for seniors to have extra water to drink at all times. In the case of an emergency if the power is out or the city waster isn’t pumping or if the water isn’t safe to drink because of flood water your senior parent must have access to clean drinking water. Make sure that you have stocked your senior parent’s garage, storm closet, or other easily accessible space with extra water. Get small bottles of water, not large jugs, because small bottles are easier for seniors to grip and carry.
Food is just as important as water. Seniors who have conditions like diabetes need to eat regularly in order to help regulate their blood sugar. And seniors in general tend to not eat enough so there should be protein bars and shakes, dried fruit, and other healthy snacks with the water that you are putting in a disaster kit for your loved one.
If your senior loved one takes medications every day that they can’t go without like insulin, heart medication, or medication for a condition like Alzheimer’s make sure that their disaster kit has enough medication to get them through a couple of weeks if necessary. Seniors may not always have time to grab their medications in the event of an emergency so it’s safer to make sure that there are extra bottles of those medications in the disaster kit. If your senior loved one is diabetic and needs insulin make sure there is dry ice or another method that can be used to keep it cold.
If the disaster ends up causing a flood or if there’s an intense storm your senior loved one will probably need dry clothing. A disaster kit should contain several pairs of dry socks, a pair of shoes, a wind proof jacket, a sweater, and a light shirt. There should also be pants and shorts that your senior loved one like wear also. It’s also a good idea to put in a hat or several hats, sunscreen, and a pair of sunglasses in case the weather is going to be sunny after the disaster.