Lessons from Sandy: Caring for Seniors During Natural Disasters

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 02 November 2012

The storm is over, but the cleanup and recovery is just beginning. For seniors at home and in nursing homes, assisted living communities and other residential facilities, the week has been especially harrowing; were it not for certain home health care providers (see today’s earlier post) or effective disaster preparedness plans in senior living communities (see a post from earlier this week), the consequences would have been dire.

At this time, we should all take advantage of the clear vision that a “hindsight is 20/20” view offers; everyone who is caring for seniors in a professional capacity, as a family caregiver, or as a concerned neighbor and friend, should plan now for natural disasters to come. Plan now for the winter season ahead. Plan now for unforeseen medical emergencies.

It can be as simple as creating and fulfilling a checklist of supplies to keep on hand, like water, flashlights, batteries, blankets, and non-perishable food items. Maybe it’s time to make a list of all the medications your loved one is currently taking, along with the pharmacy’s phone number and refill dates. If you don’t have a will or advanced directives in place, don’t delay. If being without power for an extended amount of time would pose a great health risk, consider purchasing a generator or other safe, alternative source of energy.

For more information on emergency preparedness, click here.

Dig deeper: read this report from Medical News Today, “Sandy’s Aftermath Leaves Seniors Particularly Vulnerable.”


There are 4 Comments about this post

  1. It’s a good idea to have a checklist and be prepared when disasters like this happens. I really feel bad for those people who were affected and I hope they’re doing fine now. I just wish that people will become more aware and ready now so as to avoid mishaps, accidents and other untoward incidents.


    on 03 November 2012 / 5:01 AM

  2. Thanks for the comment, Long Term Care News. Yes, it’s important to be aware and plan ahead for disasters such as these, but unfortunately, it’s often easier said than done. If we keep getting the word out though, and keep the issue front and center, perhaps it would encourage action. Thanks for stopping by the blog to share your thoughts!


    on 05 November 2012 / 11:02 AM

  3. Home Care For Elders says,

    Well, Natural disaster can come anytime we can’t predict it, but we can prevent it. So people should have to plan some ideas to prevent these incidents. It is a good idea to have a checklist and be prepared for these situations.


    on 09 November 2012 / 5:49 AM

  4. That’s true. We can’t predict the weather or know when disaster will strike, making preparedness and planning ahead essential. Thanks for the comment!


    on 09 November 2012 / 2:52 PM


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