Part of being a family caregiver is learning to expect the unexpected. There are all sorts of potential emergencies, ranging from natural disasters to medical problems, you and your senior loved one may encounter. Being prepared for these emergencies can help things go as smoothly as possible. Here are some things you need to remember to include in your caregiver emergency plan.
1. Gather All Important Documents Together
When you’re in the middle of an emergency, you probably won’t have time to run around the house gathering insurance cards, IDs, power of attorney documents, and medical records. Make sure copies of all of these documents are placed in an easy-to-access folder or envelope so you can grab them and go.
2. Make a List of Your Loved One’s Current Conditions & Medicines
In an emergency, it can be difficult to provide professionals with an accurate list of a senior’s medical needs. Take the time to neatly write up a list of the medicines your loved one takes. You should also list your parent’s diagnosed medical conditions, any major diseases or injuries your loved one has had in the past, and any allergies he or she has.
3. Create a “Go Bag”
Take a few small totes and fill them with everything you and your loved one would need for overnight stays. Include a change of clothes, basic toiletries, and a set of glasses. If your loved one has medications that don’t expire quickly, you may want to include doses of these.
A professional caregiver can help you put together a complete emergency kit for your loved one. Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to assisted living facilities. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading Mesa home care service agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.
4. Stock Up on Extra Medications & Supplies
Make sure you plan for emergencies that could leave you and your loved one stuck at home for a few weeks. Always keep a stock of extra medications, hearing aid batteries, contact lenses, and anything else you might need to be safe at home.
5. Prepare for Mobility Issues
If your loved one has any mobility issues, your plan should address them. For example, you may want to get a wheelchair if your loved one has arthritis. Even if he or she usually just uses a cane, having some extra help might be important during an emergency.
6. Make a Contact Plan
Print up a contact sheet with information on how to get in touch with your loved one’s doctors and family members. If you don’t live with your loved one, discuss how you’ll get in touch with him or her in case of an emergency. During some types of emergencies, phone and Internet lines might go down, so you may want to establish a meeting place with your loved one.
If you have the help of a professional caregiver, make sure he or she has a copy of your emergency contact plan. Many older adults are choosing to age in place, and some need a helping hand to continue living at home safely and comfortably. Luckily, there is professional homecare seniors can trust and rely on.
7. Research Your Area’s Disaster Evacuation Plans
Check with your local government to learn more about how the area handles wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, and other natural disasters. Take time to learn about things like evacuation routes with your loved one. Some seniors may benefit from drills to help them prepare in case anything goes wrong.
If you’re concerned about ensuring your loved one’s safety in case of an emergency, consider hiring an around-the-clock caregiver. Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Mesa live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life. Reach out to one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (480) 699-4899.