As our parents age, their memories start to fade, and their bodies become more fragile. They become more at risk for injury and for various medical emergencies. If your parent is aging, it is vital to create a medical emergency plan and take all necessary precautions to keep them safe.
#1) Create a Plan and Post It
If you have an aging parent who is choosing to age in place and does not want to relocate to a senior care facility, you should create an emergency plan that they can follow in case of a medical emergency. The plan should include:
- Detailed information about where the first aid kit is located.
- Emergency contact names.
- A designated place to meet.
- Anything that may be specific to their situation.
This plan should be posted somewhere for all to see.
#2) Ensure Access to Technology
Another crucial thing that all aging seniors should have access to is technology. Even if they do not want a cell phone, they should still be given one to use and shown how to use it. This can come in handy in case of an emergency. In addition, every aging senior should have a medical device tracker to push in case of an emergency and an email address if phones stop working.
#3) First Aid Kit
There should always be a first aid kit in every home, both seniors and non-seniors, readily available and easy to access. This first aid kit should include all necessary items recommended by Red Cross and be fully stocked.
#4) Build a Support Network
Another crucial thing that all aging parents need to have is a support network of family, friends, neighbors, and others in their lives. The larger the support network is, the more people there are to look out for them in case of an emergency.
#5) Sign Up For Alerts
All seniors should have a phone that can get alerts from local authorities and local weather channels to be better prepared for uncertain times. For instance, if a senior has a cell phone, it will automatically beep if there is a tornado or other natural disaster close by. This will alert them to take cover and help them be safe.
#6) Keep Elderly Active and Fit
Another great precautionary step to helping our aging parents prepare for a medical emergency is keeping them fit and active. You can do this by signing them up for exercise classes for seniors near them. This will help keep them strong and help minimize their risk for falls and injuries due to falls. In addition, this will help them form bonds with others and stay socially active as well.
#7) Emergency Kit
No matter where your aging parent lives, it is essential to have an emergency kit ready to use and access at any time. Your emergency kit should include a first aid kit, blankets, food, water, flashlights, batteries, medications, and anything else your aging parent may need in an emergency or medical situation.
#8) Encourage Social Interactions
Another great way to help your aging parent prepare for a medical emergency is to encourage social interactions with many different people. Try to encourage your aging senior to make friends with their neighbors and others in their life. The more people you have looking out for your aging parent, the safer they may be and the more peace of mind you will have.
#9) Purchase a Generator
If your aging parent is on oxygen or another medical device, you should highly consider purchasing a generator. If the power in the house or the neighborhood goes out for an extended period of time, you may need a generator to save your parent’s life and keep them breathing. Try looking into a generator that will power their home and turn on immediately if the power goes out. This generator could be a lifesaver and will be worth the convenience and peace of mind it gives you.
#10) Update Insurance Policy
Another way to help prepare your aging parent in case of a medical emergency is to update their homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policy. Ensure that they have the coverage they need to cover their home and themselves in case of an emergency. While this may not save their life, it will make them and you feel better knowing that their belongings and their home is taken care of, even if something unforeseen and unexpected happens to them.