The earthquake in New York City a few months ago proved the point: we all need to be prepared for emergencies, natural disasters, and unexpected events beyond our control. We also need to be prepared for the end of life, to give our loved ones the priceless gift of instructions for “after.”
Preparedness is especially important for those who work in senior living communities or serve as an at-home caregiver for a senior family member. Even if we don’t fall into those specific categories, we all have older neighbors who live alone or would need assistance in a state of emergency. Not to mention that fires, typhoons, and rolling blackouts pay no mind to the age of individuals in the strike zone. Though being prepared doesn’t guarantee prevention, it certainly can be a life boat, a light in the darkness, a safety net.
The following questions guided Wednesday’s real-time discussion on Twitter (we had 55 participants this week):
Q1. Do you have an emergency preparedness plan at home? At work? In the senior living community where your loved one resides?
Q2: Have you experienced a fire, flood or other natural disaster that required evacuation with a senior?
Q3: What documents are essential to have on hand as a caregiver for a senior?
Q4: Do you have advanced directives or a living will in place for yourself? Does your caree?
Q5: How can you better prepare for emergency situations in the case of a caree who has dementia or Alzheimer’s?
Q6: What items should you bring for an ER/hospital visit?
Q7: What should caregivers do to prepare a senior caree for the winter season?
Here are a few highlights:
And a few more preparedness resources:
- Disaster Preparedness: A Guide For Seniors, By Seniors (American Red Cross)
- Disaster Preparedness in Assisted Living: What’s the Plan? (SeniorsforLiving)
- Are You Ready? Guide (FEMA)
- P.S. Don’t forget your pets! (FEMA)
Don’t miss our next chat: Wednesday, November 7th at 1pm ET. Please note that there are no more chats scheduled for this month, as we meet only on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month. Anyone who is interested in and passionate about eldercare issues can join us — anytime. Prior participation is not required, nor is there a need to stay for the full hour.
If the “real-time” frame doesn’t sync with your schedule, or if you feel that your question or idea requires well beyond 140 characters, start a discussion thread on our LinkedIn page or use the #eldercarechat hashtag. The LinkedIn group is also a great place to continue previous discussions, connect with those who share similar interests, or talk about the services you — or the company you represent — have to offer.