Being prepared for an emergency is incredibly important. However, while some of us may have a first aid kit or fire extinguisher in the home, few of us could claim to be truly prepared for certain emergency events. When it comes to our older loved ones who choose to age in place in the comfort of home, emergency preparedness isn’t just a good idea, it is essential. In the event of an emergency, would medical personnel be able to access the medical history of an older loved one? If the person is injured, incapacitated, or suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, they may not be able to provide the medical information needed to save them. Senior HomeCare of Tucson, a trusted provider of home health services in Tucson, AZ and the nearby areas, shares the following systems for helping seniors prepare for emergencies.
- Set up emergency contacts on the senior’s cell phone. Having the numbers of emergency contacts listed in the home is always a great idea. However, if your loved one has an emergency outside the home, bystanders or EMTs will need to know who to contact. Make sure that the senior’s smartphone has his emergency contacts set up so that, even when the phone is locked, they can be contacted.
- Keep an eye on the weather. While many people choose the Tucson area for its warm, dry climate, that doesn’t mean we are totally immune to harsh weather. Extreme heat and flash flooding are common occurrences, and it is important to keep an eye on weather changes. Set up weather alerts on the senior loved one’s phone so they know about upcoming storms and can plan in advance for getting food and medications should they need to.
- Make a plan. For weather-related emergencies, it is important to develop a plan of action with the older adult. Storms can knock out power for days, leaving seniors without heat, air conditioning, or electricity for necessary medical equipment. Sit down with your loved ones and create a plan for where the senior will go in the event of a power outage or other weather event to ensure they remain safe.
- Ensure the person has adequate food, water, and at least a 3-day supply of all current medications. Should a weather emergency, such as flooding, leave a senior stranded at home, make sure they have plenty of food, potable water, and at least 3 days’ worth of their medications.
- Make sure at least one family member, friend, or trusted neighbor has a spare key. If your loved one fell in the home and couldn’t get up, would someone be able to get in to help them? Having a spare key is vital in making sure you can help a senior loved one in the event of an emergency. However, if you live at a distance, ensuring a local friend or neighbor can access the home is important as well.
- Keep important medical information in a secure, yet easily accessible place. During a medical emergency, the ability for medical personnel to access the senior’s medical history is very important. However, the senior may be incapacitated, confused, or otherwise unable to provide this vital information. Check to see if your loved one’s smart phone has a health feature that allows you to store medical information such as blood type, medical conditions, allergies, etc. that could be lifesaving in the event of an emergency. If not, equip your loved one with a Medical ID bracelet that can be used to access this information.
To ensure safety at home and that someone is there in the event of an emergency, you should also consider working with a professional home care agency, like Senior HomeCare of Tucson, an award-winning provider of home health services in Tucson, AZ and the surrounding areas. Our team of experienced caregivers can help senior loved ones prepare for emergencies and stay safe at home in a number of ways, including:
- Grocery shopping
- Running errands and picking up prescriptions
- Removing safety hazards in the home
- Providing transportation
- Assisting with medication adherence
- Professional Alzheimer’s and dementia care
- And much, much more
Contact our team today to learn more about our home care services and how we can help your loved one live a safer, happier life at home.