How Seniors Should Manage Hurricane Planning

blankWhen it comes to hurricane planning for seniors it’s important to determine what risk they’re at and what alternatives are available for them. Your goal should be to minimalize risk while helping them prepare for any impending challenges. While this is important, you must understand that you won’t ever be able to create a plan that covers al situations, but with enough thought you can still be better prepared to respond.

Assessing the Environment Before Hurricane Season Happens

This is one of the key decisions that must be made when it comes to hurricane planning. While you may feel the need to stay with a home you’ve lived in for many years, this is especially dangerous for elderly individuals who have health issues. To determine if this applies to your beloved seniors you should complete a physical and environmental assessment that takes into consideration your home, supplies, and your loved one’s ability to walk on their own, take their own medication, and judge whether they’re truly safe. If the elderly person in question lives with another senior, it’s important to determine if they can survive the storm while also taking care of the other person, especially if this person has dementia because a hurricane could cause them to become more anxious, resulting in them acting out or wandering off.

By conducting this assessment you’ll notice any problems or concerns that you may have overlooked otherwise. Remember, you can’t make someone evacuate, but you can make sure they have the information they need to determine what’s best for them. You may need to remind them about the extremely high winds and dangerous weather and the fact that many people will be evacuating so they’ll be unavailable to help them. Doing so may help convince the elderly that they should also evacuate.

Considerations for Hurricane Planning

Some questions to ask when composing an emergency plan include:

  • What is your home’s evacuation zone? Remember, if you live in a mobile home, you’re required to evacuate.
  • Is the home prepared to weather a hurricane?
  • Is your loved one reliant on home health aides? If so, where will they receive emergency care if they don’t evacuate?
  • Are the seniors dependent on electricity for their medical equipment?
  • Do they suffer from memory impairment or cognitive decline? Or any condition that’d be made worse by extreme heat or stress, or by a poor diet?

Once you’ve been able to think through these questions, it’s time to create a hurricane plan for your elderly loved ones. Some things you should do as you’re working through hurricane planning include:

  • Make sure that if they have special needs or require special assistance, they’re registered with the county emergency services. This doesn’t mean that you should rely on the county or its shelters though.
  • Consider where you can have the person move when a hurricane is coming. Sometimes this is as simple as moving them further inland to stay with a friend.
  • You may need to talk to the assisted living and skilled nursing facilities near you to see who accepts short-term respites when there’s a hurricane.
  • When you can’t move the person and their home is relatively safe, you should find someone to stay with them. Make sure that they have emergency supplies available.

It’s also a good idea to make sure that the seniors in your life are able to hear clearly before hurricane season arrives. To do this, make them an appointment with Countryside Hearings Aid Services today. All these things are important so you’re sure that your seniors are both safe and comfortable regardless of what this hurricane season may bring.

Picture Credit: 123rf.com