Elderly Emergency Kit
While it is true that most of the elements of any emergency kit can be used by the elderly, there are special considerations that must be taken into account. In this case, we are not talking about the vital ‘young elderly’ – those people in their sixties and early seventies who are in good condition and will be able to deal with an emergency situation like anyone else. The frail elderly, those who are very old or who suffer from a medical condition will need more assistance and care during an emergency.
Elderly Emergency Kit If Suffering From Disease
Many elderly people have some kind of physical condition that will require them to use medication. Some of these conditions can be quite serious, such as diabetes or heart conditions. The elderly emergency kit should include at least an extra week’s worth of prescription medications, and a copy of the prescriptions, too. A list of the doctors the person is seeing is also important to keep in this emergency kit.
Some diseases call for a specialized diet to be followed. If this is the case with the elderly person under your care, be sure to have at least 7 days of this diet on hand. This should consist of non-perishable items that can be stored for several months at a time, and these can be rotated and used as their expiration date draws near.
Heat And Cold
Elderly people are much more susceptible to the effects of both heat and cold. If there is an emergency during the summer, such as an abnormal heat wave, older persons will have to be kept cooler so that they do not suffer from heat stroke. Having some instant cold packs on hand will also help to cool someone down quickly when applied to the neck or forehead.
Because of disease, or simply because of advanced age, impaired circulation may make it difficult for the elderly to keep warm enough during a winter emergency. The loss of electric power can easily create a crisis situation for older people. A wood stove or kerosene heater can help to maintain proper body temperature in these people. Likewise, proper clothing that will retain heat is important, too.
The Handicapped Elderly
Older persons who are also handicapped can find themselves in a serious situation fairly quickly. The bedridden and those using walkers or wheelchairs will need more help, and should have either family or caregivers accessible during an emergency. Having a kit with all the emergency supplies the handicapped person might need packed and ready, can really help during an evacuation, too. Those elderly who depend upon oxygen should have an extra tank or two in the house so there will be no interruption during an emergency.
There are also personal alarms that elderly people can wear that will alert family or emergency services in case of accident or illness. These alarms would be especially useful for the handicapped, and providing the person with a cell phone might also be a good idea.