FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN
/ Caregiver Emergency Plan
It is a great pleasure to travel the country
talking to family caregivers in urban and rural
cities. I have met so many gracious folks and
feel a special kinship to all of these communities.
It was with intense sadness that I watched the news
last weekend about two of these cities—Minneapolis,
Minnesota and Joplin, Missouri and this week as more
tornados struck wide areas in Kansas, Oklahoma and
coming after the tornados that tore through one of
my old stomping grounds, Birmingham, Alabama.
There is, of course, no rhyme or reason to nature;
and as a native Floridian, I know all too well that
every region has stereotypical weather challenges.
As family caregivers, it is even more important for
us to follow the age-old Boy Scout motto: Be
FAMILY CAREGIVER EMERGENCY CARE LIST
- A battery-powered radio, flashlight and
plenty of extra batteries.
- A first-aid kit, prescription medicines, and
an extra pair of glasses.
- A supply of water (one gallon per person per
day); store water in sealed, unbreakable
containers and replace every six months; a
supply of non-perishable food and a non-electric
can opener, plus any special foods your loved
one may require.
- Include extra products like adult diapers,
wipes, lotion, and other hygiene items that
don’t need water in order to use.
- Have extra wheelchair batteries charged and
ready to go.
- Have on-hand full oxygen tanks, extra
medications, catheters, food for guide or
service dogs, and any other special equipment
- A change of clothing and rain gear for your
loved one, and sturdy shoes for you.
- Extra blankets or sleeping bags.
- The list of family physicians, relatives or
friends who should be notified if you or your
loved one are injured.
- A list of the style and serial numbers of
medical devices such as pacemakers or special
batteries for essential medical equipment.
- An extra set of car keys.
There are many things that caregivers can do to
help themselves and their loved ones prepare for any
type of emergency or disaster, but it is best to be
ready well in advance, before a dire situation
arises. Remember to contact your local fire
department or your community’s emergency management
office for help with your preparations.
Support the communities affected by the recent