By: Anna Rodriguez Survival Central Contributor
As the number of baby boomers experiencing disaster-related incidents rise, the growing concerns over how to cope with the challenges and these incidents pose become prominent. It is noteworthy to mention that older adults made up 65% of the victims of the recent tsunami in Japan and half of hurricane Sandy’s victims, as well, as reported by John Feather and Jennifer Campbell in their article in The Huffington Post.
Elderly people need to take initiative in conceptualizing a well-defined and well-planned preparedness guide for any disasters to equip them in preparation for the doomed uncertainties life has to offer. The vulnerability most elderly people poses in the face of catastrophes produces concerns also over the urgent need for them to make preparations in advance in facing the worst possible scenarios life may offer.
Don’t Scare The Elderly Away
Compromising the safety and security of senior citizens is definitely a no-no. However, scaring the vulnerable elderly into feeling even more afraid does not help, either. Avoid allowing your elderly loved one see the news on TV or hear about it on the radio, announcing the intensity of an upcoming calamity such as an earthquake, tornado or typhoon. Elderly people are likely to panic even more upon hearing this news.
Quietly gather supplies for a disaster survival kit for your elderly family member, upon hearing about the news of the upcoming disaster. When you’ve finished gathering these supplies, inform your grandmother that a catastrophe in her area is about to occur, without, of course, delving into the event’s details, to avoid negative reactions to escalate even more.
Handy Containers For Grab And Go
Safety for senior citizens means letting them have all the necessities they need in order to stay alive. If your elderly loved one, like most baby boomers, deals with a lot of health issues, medications will be stuff they can’t afford to do without if they don’t want to die early. In the event of emergencies or disasters, enabling your grandfather to quickly pick up his medications contained in handy containers to take with him during evacuation, enhances security outside home.
Write a guide for senior citizens’ safety on stick-on paper tags and attaches these paper tags to your loved one’s arm. Doing this ensures elderly to remember the steps they need to take in case disasters strike. It’s significant to note the importance of reminders to elderly’s daily lives, because older people deal with forgetfulness on a daily basis, and this is something that’s beyond their control to avoid.
Be Wary Of Deceptive People
You just never know if the people that live with your elderly family member may deceive your dear loved one. Install a surveillance camera in your elderly family member’s home in order to easily catch the deceiving culprit, and get things under control. You just never know if another close family member may be out there to steal your grandma’s bank account details, with the purpose of stealing all the funds in the bank account.
The uncertainty of home security has never been so prevalent as it is now, with many family members not caring for the long-term welfare of a vulnerable relative. Selfishness is something most people, including close family members, firmly show on a daily basis, as the world becomes greedier and as time passes by.
Learn To Entrust Elderly Welfare To Others
If you work full-time or, for some reason, just can’t always be there to look after your frail family member, be practical by entrusting older people’s home safety to a responsible friend or neighbor. Before choosing the person on whom to entrust the elderly with, make sure you’ve done some careful analysis of the character of that person to deem him suitable to care for your beloved relative. Don’t entrust your relative to a person who doesn’t have genuine concern for your loved one, and not even caring to prioritize protecting your grandma from harm’s way.
It’s an additional bonus if the entrusted caregiver can also enhance the elderly’s knowledge by giving him safety tips customized for senior citizens. These tips can greatly boost elderly’s independence skills, thus, making them more physically able and stronger, despite their age.
Specific Instructions Can Save Lives
A popular way to enhance the elderly’s survival skills for disaster is being specific when giving out instructions to older adults, when rescuing them from a disaster. You need to conquer your initial fears by remaining calm, so you can concentrate on composing your thoughts into being specific when instructing your loved one to safety.
Avoid decorative words when instructing an evacuation procedure to your elderly loved one. Older people may easily pick up on simple instructions like, “Quick, run to the nearest fire exit”, among others.
Easier Evacuation In A Mid-Sized Or Larger Home
If your elderly family member is not able to afford a mid-sized or larger home, guide him/her in availing a home loan in order to afford a residence of a desirable size. Don’t forget that most elderly people tend to be careless when moving around. It will be easier for your loved one to evacuate his home when disastrous events strike if he lives in a bigger space, with sufficient areas where he can comfortably move about and run, when the need arises.
Act now rather than later, when it comes to guiding your elderly loved ones in preparing for imminent disasters. Being proactive in helping weaker family members conquer disastrous events not only helps save their lives, but also shows the genuine love and concern you have for them, in spite of the explicit flaws in endurance that they possess.