Caregiver Challenges: Managing Disaster Preparedness with a Senior with Alzheimer's Disease

Caregiver Challenges: Managing Disaster Preparedness with a Senior with Alzheimer's Disease

Caregivers in Murray UT

Disaster preparedness is one of those tasks that you may not have immediately thought of when you first started your caregiver experience with your aging parent. You do not want to think about your senior loved one being involved in a weather emergency or other disaster, and the thought of trying to manage their care while also dealing with the disaster itself can seem daunting. This is an even more pressing situation when your parent is dealing with Alzheimer's disease. Now you are not just thinking about preparing for a potential disaster, but about preparing for that disaster while helping a senior get through it when they might not even understand what is happening.

Doing everything that you can to prepare ahead of time and have plans and procedures in place can help you to feel more confident in your parent's ability to get through a disaster situation successfully. Use these tips to help you manage disaster preparedness for your senior with Alzheimer's disease:
Have a supply kit ready. If a disaster strikes, you want to know that your parent, you, and anyone else who might be in the home with them at the time will have what they need to weather it. This should include basic personal supplies for at least 5 days, but preferably 7, including non-perishable, high nutrition food, water, medical supplies, toiletries, comfort items, and communication items. Store these in a clearly labeled watertight container and keep it where it is easily accessible during a disaster, but not somewhere where your parent might want to rummage through it.
Prepare for wandering. If there is a disaster imminent and you know that you will have to leave the home, prepare for the possibility of wandering or otherwise getting separated. Put identification labels on your parent's clothing, make sure that they are wearing their personal GPS device, and consider enrolling them in an Alzheimer's return program that keeps their information on file. Make sure that you also inform your friends, family, neighbors, and your parent's home care provider if they have one where you intend to go after evacuating the home. The more people who know where your parent should be, the better. This includes if you are just bringing your parent to your own home to ride out the storm.
Continue focusing on their needs. A disaster can be frightening for anyone, but this is particularly true for a senior who does not understand what is happening. Whether your parent stays at home during the disaster, comes to stay with you in your home throughout it, or has to evacuate somewhere else, it is vital that you keep their mental and emotional health needs in mind throughout the experience. Be aware that they might feel very anxious and afraid, and that that might trigger negative behaviors. Take the time to reassure your parent, calm them, and keep their routine as close to intact as possible so that they can feel less out of control and more secure.

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Murray, UT , contact the caring staff at Interim Healthcare. Call today 801-401-3515
Author: Michael and Marlena Hawkins, Owners, Interim HealthCare, Salt Lake City, UT 
Interim HealthCare of Salt Lake City has been in business since February 2014, providing in-home personal care and support services that help our elderly and/or disabled neighbors live enriched, safe and independent lives. Our goal is to provide customized care and support services that make it possible for our clients to remain in the comfort of their own homes rather than relocate to an assisted living facility.  Interim HealthCare is family owned by Michael and Marlana Hawkins, and is a Veteran Owned Small Business.   

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