A. Taking Care of the Elderly for Preppers
25 July 2014, Preparedness Advice Blog, by admin
Pasted from: http://preparednessadvice.com/medical/taking-care-elderly-preppers/#.U9ZuSIl0zmi
Recently, my life was thrown into disarray by the loss of my mother and now we have to take care of my father. With all of this going on, we have learned quite a bit of what is required to take care of the elderly and now we are going to try to pass some of this knowledge on to you.
My mother was 92 and lived a good life. She was able to die at home with the help of friends and family. My father still lives in the same home, again with the help of friends and family.
Congestive heart failure and old age was the cause on my mother’s death, although she also suffered some affects from a stroke she had 15 years ago. There is a whole list of things that you should stock to help keep someone as comfortable as possible during their last days.
- Adult diapers
- Walkers and possibly a wheelchair
- Any special medications or medical apparatus.
- If they need oxygen and you have a concentrator, can you power it?
- You need to keep a list of medical conditions, prescriptions and other important information.
- Extra sheets and blankets
- Pads and medications for bedsores.
- Pain killers, at least over the counter
- We used the Cleanlife Shampoo and body wash that requires no rinsing. See a post on these products No Rinse Shampoo and Body Washes See at: http://preparednessadvice.com/medical/no-rinse-shampoo-and-body-washes/#.U9ZvSol0zmh
FEMA estimated that the majority of those over 70 years of age and those who are functionally disabled or medically dependent will die within the first thirty-days of a full-scale national disaster.
To help make their last days more comfortable, talk to them, spent time with them, if they are coherent get them to talk about their past.
As you can see from the FEMA studies most of you who are taking care of functionally disabled or medically dependent will be faced with the death of a loved one shortly after a major national disaster. The above items will help you keep your patient comfortable during their last days.
After they pass, you will have to clean and dress the body for burial. In our case my wife and one of our granddaughters prepared my mother’s body for burial. Treat the body with respect, but be prepared to dispose of the body rapidly, depending on the weather the body can start to decompose rapidly. A body bag or sheet plastic may be a useful item to have.
I know that this is a gruesome subject, but it is something that we will all have to face at some point in our lives. In our case, our faith in a living God helps. But you each have to find your own way to deal with this; it is not a subject from which you can hide We will write more later on caring for bedsores and how to handle hygiene problems.
The time that you spend taking care of the elderly will have great meaning to you after they pass, you will know you have done the best.
B. Emergency Preparedness for Your Elders – How to Take Care of Grandma in a Crisis
11 March 2013, Mom With A Prep, by Jane Baldwin
Pasted from: http://momwithaprep.com/emergency-preparedness-for-elders/
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Being the primary caretaker of an elderly or disabled family member is hard. Even if they are living on their own, living in assisted facilities, living with in-home nursing and care staffs, living in a long-term care facility or you have huge extended family that all help out, the responsibility of being the primary caretaker for Grandma is an awesome and somber responsibility, especially in light of preparedness.
What I’ll be discussing are our senior members whose health has affected their mobility or mental acuity, not healthy, active senior who could probably kick MY butt on any given day!
Here are some tips for preparing for your elders:
- Emergency Bag – make sure Grandma has a bug out bag/72 hour kit and supplies specifically for her (do you need special dietary supplements, medical needs, incontinence supplies, glasses, hearing aids and batteries, monitors, oxygen, extra walker or cane, etc.) Mostly likely, you or another family member will be carrying it if you have to leave, but you should have it stored in your home, nonetheless.
- Comfort items – make sure, in your checklist, you allow for grabbing Grandma’s favorite sweater or family photo. You’d be surprised at how quickly her mental status can fall when they become scared and overwhelmed. A comfort item can give her a focus and something that makes her feel somewhat safe.
- Safe Passage – make sure that whatever exit strategy you have for Grandma gives you and she a safe passage without crawling over, through or around things, especially if mobility or sight is an issue for her. Try to make her exit the easiest exit possible for your situation.
- Emergency exit – If Grandma is completely immobile, make sure your plans include a quick way to get her out of the house – whether it’s to knock out a window/sliding glass door to get a bed out, extra sling to help carry her to safety with other family members or neighbors
- Consider a bug-in plan that allows for safety of your family and support for Grandma.
- Backup generator for Grandma if she needs to sustain medical equipment. Talk to your doctor, local fire department and elderly care facilities to find out best ways to ensure long-term power outage situations.
- First Aid/CPR – know that in this situation, unlike others, the mere situation may cause need for first aid because Grandma is already in some physical distress and an emergent need because of her health. Having first aid knowledge is a huge bonus in these situations (as in all, but this is a unique situation), to be able to assess and quickly treat those issues that arise.
- Have an updated list of medications handy in case you have to call for replacement meds. Your pharmacy will likely have a record if you still have power, and will have to contact Grandma’s doctor for confirmation on replacement, but there may be quite a few they can release for a short-term emergency until a doctor can be reached. Otherwise, keep a list handy to give to any interim doctor you may have to use.In care facility – this is a harder situation for families. You cannot create a complete safety net at a long-term facility for Grandma because it’s impossible. Supplies that you tuck there may disappear, staff may not be able to follow your guidelines because of state regulations, etc. Of course, if Grandma is in an Assisted Living facility, options to store supplies is much easier. But you can prepare as much as possible given Grandma’s particular situation including:
- Make sure the facility has well thought out, recorded, and state-approved emergency response guidelines. This includes the guidelines they have for hurricanes, tornadoes, fire, evacuation, etc.
- Have your emergency contact information on file with both the office and the nurses station as well as in Grandma’s room.
- Have a pack at home for you to grab and go in an emergency that you can use one you’ve reached the facility to help Grandma in any way you can.
- Have backup gear in your vehicle for things like walkers, canes, and have her emergency bag ready.
- Keep a locked bag of luggage in her personal storage area (closet, etc.) with items that you would need if you could get to the facility in a time of crisis. This may contain extra eyeglasses, equipment, and things that you know are needed for backup. It could be her get out bag, or if leaving without the aid of facility personal is impossible, it can be your bug-in bag until a plan can be implemented.
- Make sure to have all-season clothing and shoes available at all times of the year for Grandma to wear in case evacuation is necessary.
- Have a meet up plan with the facility in case evacuation does happen and you know where they plan on taking Grandma. They may transfer her, temporarily, to another facility and you don’t want to lose contact on where she has been taken.
- Have a 72 hour kit/bug out bag available for Grandma, even if you store it at home. If you can get to the facility and bug-in with her for a short-term emergency, you have the supplies you need for both of you.
- Be sure to have an updated medical record available (medications she is taking, treatment plans, etc.) available so that any interim medical staff will know how to treat her. If you have a chance to get to her before an evacuation, it would be a good idea to keep a copy with her in case you are separated.
Know that Grandma will probably be scared and confused. Do the best you can to help calm and reassure her. Be realistic about the situation and what will be feasible for you to accomplish, and what won’t so you can make the safest decisions you can make to keep you, your family and Grandma as safe as possible.
I want to thank The Patriot Nurse for making this video to talk about this very issue.
Patriot Nurse video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HDAyGNvLqs&feature=player_embedded
C. Disaster Preparedness for Seniors and the Elderly
10 Aug 2011, Backdoor Survival, by Gaye
Pasted from: http://www.backdoorsurvival.com/disaster-preparedness-for-older-adults-seniors/
This week I would like to explore some of the special preparedness needs of the senior and elderly members of our families and communities. At first blush, you may be saying, “Yes, I understand that there are elderly people but how would their needs be any different than mine?”.
That is a great question and certainly one that I have asked myself. But consider this: the elderly are less mobile and far less likely to be able to evacuate on their own. Their eating habits may be more finicky and, for health reasons, restricted. The need for life-sustaining prescription medications and medical devices increases with age, and perhaps most difficult of all, the a sense of fear may result in profound depression as the familiar and comforting world around them has changed.
For those embarking upon the family preparedness lifestyle, it is important to consider the special needs of elderly adults and to help educate and assist them now, before they experience a true SHTF situation caused by natural, man made or economic disasters.
The checklist below is designed to be shared one on one with members of our older adult population (our moms and dads, grandparents, and neighbors). Review this list and use it as a guideline for initiating a discussion with these important members of our community.
1. Prepare Now for a Sudden Emergency In the event of a disaster, local and rescue workers will do their best to arrive quickly but there may be physical or other impediments to a swift recovery effort. The key is to prepare now for a sudden emergency. Here are some things you can do:
- Assemble a disaster kit that includes food, water, first aid items, a flashlight, batteries and some cash.
- Arrange to have someone check on you on a periodic basis.
- Plan and practice the best escape routes from your home.
- Get to know the types of emergencies most likely to occur in your geographical area and find a safe place to shelter in your home if disaster strikes.
- Create window signs that you can use to signal the need for assistance.
- Post emergency phone numbers close to your phone. Do not rely on your memory. If you require special equipment (medical devices, oxygen, wheel chairs), keep a list and the location of operating instructions handy so that rescue workers can find them.
- Be prepared to defend yourself. Get some pepper spray or even some aerosol hair spray to squirt at an intruder who is trying to loot or otherwise steal your stuff.
2. Take Care of Your Medical Needs
• Assemble some spare medical supplies in an easy-to-carry, transportable container such as a backpack, shoulder bag, or duffle bag. Include a 7 to 14 days supply of prescription medicines and be sure to include written instructions regarding the dosage, and a list of allergies, if any.
• Pack up an extra pair of glasses (even if they are old) and hearing aid batteries
• Label your stuff. This includes your bags or other containers, walkers, canes, wheelchairs or anything else that you are likely to need.
• Make a copies of your medical insurance and Medicare cards and include them with your medical supplies along with a listing of your doctors. Also include a list of the style and serial number of medical devices such as pacemakers. Share copies of these documents with a trusted family member or friend.
3. Prepare for a Possible Evacuation
• Learn how to shut off water, gas and electricity.
• If you can, take your pets with you. But, also keep in mind that pets may not allowed in shelters. Ask! If not, you will need to allow for sufficient food and water for an extended period. Put a sign in the window indicating that there are pets inside.
• Leave a note taped to the refrigerator or elsewhere indicating when you left and where you are going.
4. Assess Your Physical Limitations and Coordinate a Plan for Assistance in Advance
- Contact a friendly neighbor in advance and make them aware that you have limitations that will preclude your evacuation in an emergency. Ask for their assistance in helping you or in contacting family members.
- In the event of an evacuation, wear warm clothing (even if it is hot outside) and sturdy shoes. You can always peel away the extra clothing later if you are too warm.
- Make sure that someone you know has an extra key to your home and knowledge of where you keep your emergency supplies.
- If you don’t already have one, get a cell phone. In most recent disasters, cell phone service was active long before land lines became functional.
What else can you do?
In addition to having a discussion with the older adults in you life, I would like to suggest that you help them gather supplies and educate them regarding the proper storage of extra food and water. You know what I am talking about: keep your supplies sealed and keep them cool.
You also might want to consider putting a Bug Out Bag together to give to them as gift, or to take them shopping to purchase the necessary supplies.
Perhaps most important of all, you can start to educate the elderly so that when and if the time comes, they are less fearful and less inclined to panic or worst case, shut down completely. I highly recommend that you download this free booklet, Red Cross Disaster Preparedness for Seniors By Seniors which was written a group of older adults who experienced a two-week power outage during a ice storm. It is excellent.
D. Preparedness Tips for People with Mobility Challenges
28 February 2013, Backdoor Survival, by Gaye
Pasted from: http://www.backdoorsurvival.com/six-preparedness-tips-for-the-mobility-challenged/
If you have ever had an injury that limited your mobility, you will understand why knowing how to deal with mobility challenges following a disaster are important. A sprained ankle, a broken leg, a fractured arm – all of these can severely restrict your ability of evacuate or bug out following a disaster.
Now put yourself in the shoes of an individual with a permanent disability – someone who requires a walker, a wheelchair or a scooter to move around. Clearly, an evacuation will be slow and ordinary objects such as furniture, stairs, curbs, and doorways become obstacles or even barriers to escape. Add to this the challenge of moving about during chaos and panic and you can understand why planning in advance for survival tactics is important.
Today I am going to share some preparedness tips for people with mobility challenges. But please take note. These tips are for everyone because when and if the time comes, it may be you with the challenge and not your neighbor, your spouse or your friend. Having an awareness of the obstacles that a person with mobility issues faces will make you a better prepper.
BUT FIRST THINGS FIRST
Regardless of any physical challenges, the basics of prepping still apply. Accumulate food, water, first aid, self defense and the other items to get by under dire conditions. Have the gear you will need to stay warm and the means to cook your food when the grid is down. Practice your homesteading skills and develop a community of like minded people to watch your back as you will watch theirs.
These are the things you will do because these are the things that all preppers do. And for now, that is all that I will say about that.
SIX PREPAREDNESS TIPS FOR PEOPLE WITH MOBILITY DISABILITIES
1. Store Your Stuff
Store emergency supplies in a pack or backpack that can be attached to crutches, a walker, a wheelchair, or a scooter.
Store the needed mobility aids (canes, crutches, walkers, wheelchairs) close by in a consistent, convenient and secured location. Keep extra aids in several locations, if possible.
Keep specialized items ready, including extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, medication, prescriptions, food for service animals, and any other items you might need.
2. Put Together a Specialized Emergency Supply Kit
Keep a pair of heavy gloves in your supply kit to use while wheeling or making way over glass or debris.
If you use a motorized wheelchair or scooter, consider having an extra battery available. A car battery can be substituted for a wheelchair battery, but this type of battery will not last as long as a wheelchair’s deep-cycle battery. Check with your wheelchair or scooter vendor to see if you will be able to charge batteries by either connecting jumper cables to a vehicle battery or by connecting batteries to a specific type of converter that plugs into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter in the event of loss of electricity. And if so, get some of these cables to keep in your emergency pack.
If your chair does not have puncture-proof tires, keep a patch kit or can of “seal-in-air product” to repair flat tires, or keep an extra supply of inner tubes.
If possible, store a lightweight manual wheelchair.
3. Know your surroundings
Arrange and secure furniture and other items in a manner that will provide a clear path of travel and barrier free passages.
If you spend time above the first floor of a building with an elevator, plan and practice using alternative methods of evacuation.
If you cannot use stairs, determine in advance which carrying techniques that will work for you. Understand that there will be instances where wheelchair users will have to leave their chairs behind in order to safely evacuate a structure.
Sometimes transporting someone down stairs is not a practical solution unless there are at least two or more strong people to control the chair. Therefore, it is very important to articulate the safest mode of transport if you will need to be carried. As an example, for some, the traditional “fire fighter’s carry” may be hazardous due to respiratory weakness.
Plan at least two evacuation routes; you never know when your primary means to exit will be blocked or inaccessible.
Communication Skills are Important
4. Communication Skills are Important
Practice giving clear, concise instructions regarding how to move you. Take charge and quickly explain to people how best to assist you.
Determine in advance how much detail will be needed and drill your “speech” with a trusted friend that will give you some feedback.
You know your abilities and limitations and the best way that someone can assist you or ways in which you can assist them. Again, practice giving these instructions clearly and quickly, not in four paragraphs but a few quick phrases, using the least amount of words possible.
Create a network of neighbors, relatives, friends, and coworkers to aid you in an emergency. Discuss your needs and make sure everyone knows how to operate your equipment.
Discuss your needs with your employer.
If you live in an apartment building, ask the management to mark accessible exits clearly and to make arrangements to help you leave the building during a disaster. The more people who know where you are and the need for assistance the better.
Other Important Items
• Be sure to make provisions for medications that require refrigeration.
• Keep a list of the type and model numbers of the medical devices you require.
• Wear medical alert tags or bracelets to identify any disabilities that may not be visually obvious to a stranger.
• Just like any other survival skill, it is important to practice your emergency plan through regular drills. Imagine the worst and practice for that.
The Mobility Challenged are Not Helpless
Let me be clear on one very important point. While mobility challenges are real, the mobility challenged are not helpless. If they are preppers, they garden, tend farm animals, preserve food, practice self-defense, teach, sew, entertain, and embrace self-sufficiency with gusto.
Whereas in an emergency, the mobility challenged may need some extra assistance, at the end of the day it is the grey matter between their ears that counts. The ability to think, reason, and take appropriate action is a key component to being a prepper. Do not lose sight of that when working with your mobility challenged neighbor and comrade as you pursue your preparedness journey.
(Survival manual/Prepper articles/Elderly & Disabled Prepper needs)