Nearly half of the more than 1,000 deaths from Hurricane Katrina were people 75 and older. Last year, South Florida’s older population had to prepare for the possibility of Hurricane Matthew striking here. The Atlantic Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. In fact, we have already had one named storm this year, Arlene, which formed in the mid-Atlantic in April, much to the surprise of hurricane experts. Arlene is a reminder that now is the time to prepare.
Hurricane Season Prep: A Guide to Keeping Parents Safe
Prepare for a hurricane using the same safety measures you used for your family, plus these special considerations:
- If you plan to evacuate, don’t expect your parent to sit in a hot car in hours-long traffic jams. Leave shortly after authorities announce a Hurricane Watch – this helps avoid stalled traffic, allows time to stop every two hours for a bathroom break as well as time for your parent to stretch and walk a bit to help with muscle fatigue and circulation.
- If your parent needs a special-needs shelter, sign up now – they fill up early.
- If your parent requires air-conditioning for medical reasons, make arrangements before the storm for alternative housing if you lose power.
- In case your parent needs medical care, carry their social security card, medical insurance card, and copy of their medical records in a waterproof plastic bag along with these other important documents - photo I.D.; living will; POA/Health Care Surrogate; DNR; home, LTC and health insurance policies; credit cards; important telephone numbers (physicians, siblings, friends); and an extra supply of prescription and over-the-counter medications is important to pack as well.
- Must-haves also may include incontinent supplies (diapers, sheet/mattress covers), moisture wipes and other items for hygiene.
- If your parent has dementia or frightens easily, minimize their contact with strangers and minimize the sounds of rain and wind with music or by closing curtains and closing doors to rooms with windows. Cards, games, and other distractions are helpful.
For help with planning, call the Alzheimer’s Community Care (772-223-6351); Alzheimer’s Association (800-861-7826); American Red Cross (772-287-2002); and the Area Agency on Aging for the Treasure Coast (561-684-5885).
Judie Rappaport, President & Founder
Preferred Lifestyle Services
Trust Yourself. You Have the Knowledge, Insight,
and Power to make the right decisions for you and your parent. ©
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