When preparing for the possibility of an emergency such as a severe weather situation, one of the most important steps you can take as a family caregiver is to ensure your senior has access to an emergency kit. This kit should contain the supplies and resources necessary to help them stay safe, healthy, and comfortable throughout an emergency that may cause a power outage, loss of running water, or disconnection from other resources.
There are many items that should be in an emergency kit, but a central aspect is food and water. Your senior should have access to enough high quality food and potable water to sustain them through the emergency, and in the aftermath if necessary.
Use these tips to help ensure your senior has access to the proper food and water and their emergency kit while preparing for an emergency such as a severe weather situation:
- A three-day supply of non-perishable food for each person is the minimum you should have available.
- Prepare for everyone who is usually in the home, anyone who may be in the home at the time of the emergency, such as an elder care provider, and one additional person to ensure you have plenty of supplies.
- Choose non-perishable foods that do not require refrigeration or heat to prepare.
- Look for foods your family enjoys and that they will readily eat. Remember even if food is nutritious, if your family will not eat it, it will not do any good during an emergency.
- Include supplies to prepare food, such as a can opener, utensils, and bowls.
- Look for easy foods that require no preparation, such as nutrition-dense bars or shelf-stable nutrition drinks.
- Keep in mind nutritional requirements as well as dietary restrictions and special diets when selecting foods for the emergency kit.
- Avoid foods that are high in salt or very dry as these will increase thirst.
- Have at least one gallon of potable water available per person, per day, for a minimum of three days.
- Use commercially bottled water, and do not open the containers until it is time to use the water.
- If there is the potential of water contamination lasting for longer, consider having purification tools such as bleach, boiling supplies, distilling supplies, or purification tablets.
In your role as a family caregiver, your top priority is helping your aging parent live their life to the fullest. Regardless of their challenges in limitations, you want to help them feel safe, manage their health, maintain their independence, and continue to find meaning and excitement in their daily life.
Starting elder care for them can be an exceptional way to help them accomplish this goal. An elder home care services provider can offer a wide range of highly customized services designed with your aging parent in mind. This means that services are specific to your parent based not just on their challenges and limitations, but also on their personality, lifestyle, and preferences. This ensures care that is respectful and dignified, and designed to support your parent in enjoying their later years as much as possible.