CHARLOTTE, N.C. – With millions of people facing the threat of Hurricane Florence, Home Instead Senior Care is offering tips to prepare and keep older adults safe during a weather emergency.
“Severe weather, especially flooding and evacuations, can be stressful and frightening for older adults and families,” said Lakelyn Hogan, gerontologist at Home Instead Senior Care. “For older adults who have limited mobility or rely on medications, having a plan can ease anxiety and ensure safety.”
Home Instead Senior Care recommends the following to help older adults and families prepare for a weather emergency:
- Make a plan. Communicate frequently to develop a plan of action for when unexpected weather hits. Be sure to discuss with people that are a key part of ensuring the safety of a loved one, such as neighbors, caregivers and friends.
- Tune in.Stay abreast of what’s going on through your local radio or television station or emergency management office.
- Decide early. When deciding to evacuate, older adults should go sooner rather than later. Stay informed about whether evacuation is crucial. For older adults who require mobility assistance, waiting too long to evacuate can be a serious threat.
- Assemble a kit. An essentials kit will help avoid waiting in long lines for supplies. Have a kit packed and ready with things like food, water, flashlights, personal documents and other essential items. Have at least a one-month supply of medication on hand at all times. This is particularly important for seniors who rely on multiple prescriptions.
- Pack extras and copies.Store other important documents in a waterproof protector including copies of prescriptions, car title registration and driver’s license, insurance documents and bank account numbers and spare checkbook. Also pack extra eyeglasses and hearing-aid batteries. Label every piece of important equipment or personal item in case they are lost.
- Note all contacts. Compile a list of important contacts, including a loved one’s support network, doctors and other healthcare professionals. The information can be recorded and kept in a free Home Instead Senior Emergency kit, available at www.senioremergencykit.com
- Ask for help.If you do not live near a loved one, enlist the help of family or friends, or contact a company that provides professional caregiving.