Emergencies come in all shapes and sizes. If you care for an older person, you understand the importance of preparing them for any situation. An emergency home kit is a valuable resource for anyone living through a disaster, whether a hurricane or a power outage during a snowstorm. No amount of planning can ever truly prepare you for the hardships of any emergency, especially if you are caring for an older individual. People over the age of 65 are more likely to suffer from impaired mobility, chronic health conditions, and social and economic limitations, which places them at higher risk in a disaster. However, an action plan and basic survival supplies reduce the mental and physical toll of surviving an emergency for seniors. Because you never know when or how hard a disaster may hit, being prepared is the best action plan.
What Goes In An Emergency Kit?
Given the specific needs of the older adult involved, a home emergency kit can contain quite a lot if there are items such as backup motorized wheelchair batteries, oxygen tanks, and mobility aids to consider. It is also a good idea to have a go-bag packed with essential supplies to last at least 72 hours in case of evacuation. The go-bag should be easy to access and clearly labeled.
It may seem daunting to put together all these supplies in one easy-to-access location. Gently remind yourself that by taking care of your loved ones’ emergency kit, you significantly improve the situation should an emergency occur. The senior you care for should be prepared with supplies to last for seven days. They should also know where the supplies are and how to use them. It may take time for relief to come in the event of an emergency. That potential delay makes an emergency kit critical to a senior’s safety and survival. Here are a few items your kit should include:
Prescription Medications: Include at least seven days’ worth of prescription medications. Be mindful of expiration dates and rotate accordingly. Include written info about treatment from healthcare providers and the phone numbers of current doctors.
Medical Equipment and Supplies: This includes spare batteries for hearing aids, an extra pair of glasses, a backup motorized wheelchair battery or manual wheelchair, oxygen tanks, and blood sugar monitors.
First Aid Kit: This should include the essential supplies for cleaning and caring for minor and major wounds. Pre-packaged kits are easy to find if you choose not to assemble one yourself.
Emergency Contact Information: This should contain the name and pertinent information of your loved one and a list of important phone numbers and addresses of friends and family members. It is wise to make a plan of contact such as a phone tree to have in place for emergencies.
Important Documents: Make copies of all important documents like ID cards, insurance cards, driver’s license, powers of attorney documents, advance directives, and deeds or leases for a home. Store these items in a waterproof container.
Sanitation and Hygiene
Incontinence Supplies: Be well-stocked on adult diapers, pads, wet wipes, and catheter supplies. An emergency that reduces access to clean running water will create an environment where bacteria can thrive. Seniors dealing with incontinence will need to maintain proper hygiene to minimize the risk of infection.
Personal Care: Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, baby wipes, toilet paper, and quick-drying microfiber towel are essential items to include.
Food, Water, and Basic Supplies
Food: Provide a week’s supply of dried and canned food, including basic kitchen supplies like a can opener and utensils.
Water: This could be one of the most important items you prepare for in case of emergency. Water is critical for everything from safe drinking water to cooking and cleaning. There should be one gallon of water available per person per day. Your kit should include not only a supply of water but also a water filter or water treatment tablets.
Basic Supplies: Include a flashlight, radio, batteries, matches and candles, extra clothes, blankets, and a multipurpose tool. Seniors with added challenges such as mobility or cognitive issues will require additional considerations.
Preparing Is Caring
Preparing an emergency kit will give you peace of mind that the senior in your life has the necessities to keep them safe in the event of an emergency.
When putting together emergency kits, we hope that they will sit in the corner and gather dust, never getting a chance to be used. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Whether you are caring for a self-sufficient senior or someone living with health or mobility issues that require extra assistance, assembling a home emergency kit and discussing an emergency plan will alleviate some of the stress should the occasion occur to dust off the emergency kit and put it to use.
About Generations Home Care
Generations Home Care personalized in-home care and support services help those recovering from illness, injury, or surgery, living with a chronic disease, or dealing with the natural process of aging. We help people live a fuller, healthier, and more independent life.
Our caregivers are trained in the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended COVID-19 safety precautions. We offer levels of care ranging from companionship to respite for the primary family caregiver, to homemaking services, to assistance with activities of daily living, to Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Generations Home Care takes a holistic approach and emphasizes a consistent, client-centered plan of care.
Our Specialty Services Include:
- Rehab or hospital-to-home programs for safe discharge.
- Short-term post-operative care during recovery periods.
- Non-medical life management services for people with chronic conditions.
- Veteran’s connection to care program.
- Live-in services and couples care.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you, contact us today at 602-595-HOME (4663) or by filling out the contact form on our website.