FEMA started sponsoring September’s National Preparedness Month since 2004. It’s a month to sit down and talk about how to be prepared for emergencies. The theme for 2023 is “Helping Older Adults Prepare.” Has your family talked to your mom about her plans to age in place and how to be prepared for any emergencies that arise?
Several areas have seen extreme weather or environmental events ranging from heavy flooding in regions that have never experienced flooding before to wildfires that displace families. It’s important to have plans in place just in case evacuations are recommended, and what to do if she doesn’t have to evacuate but still needs to be safe.
How Safe Is Her Home?
Is your mom’s home safe for her to quickly leave if she had to? If she has multiple levels, can she quickly walk down the stairs to an exterior door and get out to her driveway? If not, she may need to adapt her home so that she sleeps on the main level.
In some homes, bedrooms are upstairs and the living room, dining room, and kitchen are downstairs. Figure out a way to move her bedroom to that level. This might mean converting a den or enclosed dining room to her bedroom or having a bed she can use temporarily when the weather forecast is concerning.
Make Sure She Has Working Fire, Smoke, and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Test your mom’s fire, smoke, and carbon monoxide detectors. If any of them aren’t working, change the batteries. If that hasn’t fixed the issues, replace them. Aim for detectors that do offer protection from fire/heat, smoke, and carbon monoxide.
She should have smoke and fire detectors in her bedroom and on each level of her home. If she doesn’t, make sure there are extras added. Go over a fire escape plan and practice it. Have multiple exit routes in case her main door to the outside is blocked.
Have an Evacuation Plan in Place
If there is an event that requires your mom to evacuate, where would she go? Does she have someone nearby to drive her there if she no longer drives?
Ideally, she should have a neighbor or nearby family friend or relative who can drive her to a shelter, hotel, or other person’s home. If that’s not possible, arrange to have a professional caregiver available for your mom’s transportation and companion care needs.
If you don’t live nearby, your mom doesn’t have to be alone. Make sure she has companionship visits from a local senior home care agency. With a caregiver checking in each week and helping your mom with any tasks she can’t do without help, your mom won’t be alone in an emergency. Call a senior home care advisor to make the arrangements your mom needs throughout the year.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Senior Home Care in Apache Junction, AZ, or anywhere in the East Valley, please contact the caring staff at Legacy Home Care.
Call (480) 777-0070
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