Older Adults In Emergencies
Older adults can provide valuable advice and assistance during an emergency. When preparing your family’s emergency plan, consult them for suggestions and incorporate any special requirements they may have in a disaster.
Before an emergency:
- Ask older adults how they accomplished tasks without modern-day conveniences, which may not be available during an emergency.
- If older adults may become separated with you in an emergency, determine pre-arranged meeting places and identify ‘out-of-area’ contacts that both of you could phone during a disaster.
- Practice fire escape and evacuation plans and adjust if necessary.
- Add any items, such as medications or eye glass prescriptions for older adults in your survival kit
- Register any specific health needs with appropriate agencies (e.g., continual power, oxygen requirements.)
- If older adults are living in a nursing home or senior housing, learn about their facility’s emergency policies and how to contact key individuals.
During an emergency:
- Give older adults specific and realistic responsibilities in an emergency; use their strengths.
- Pay attention to medical conditions or accidents which may worsen or occur during an emergency (e.g., heart conditions, factures, dehydration, etc.)
- Reassure older adults who may be confused with changes in routine and surroundings.
After an emergency:
- If you can, help anyone who is injured.
- Encourage all family members to talk about their feelings.
- Take advantage of available counselling.
- Make sure all family members have a specific task to do. Do something that helps get back to normal.
- Keep family together as much as possible; make rebuilding a group effort.