Do You Have a Disaster Plan?
The devastating fires up and down California this month should tell you that you need a family meeting to prepare any aging family members in any place you live, ( especially long-distance ). We are facing global warming and normal catastrophic weather events- tornados, hurricanes, polar vortex and floods like the last year’s floods in the midwest. You need a disaster plan because older people are more vulnerable than any age group.
What would be the agenda of that disaster family meeting?
1) Create a disaster plan for the older person. This map out what each sibling and family member needs to do
2) Create a disaster team. This would be all adult siblings all over the country, family nearby, caregivers and neighbors.
Share your disaster plan with everyone.
Include someone on the team who can carry heavy objects like wheelchairs
Name a substitute caregiver if the regular one can’t get there
3) Make an evacuation plan . Where is the nearest shelter, what supplies
Do you have on hand? Get list from your local Red Cross
How many people do you need to make the move to safety? Look closely at picture on right. These SNF residents are in water up to their waists.
4) Put all of the above in writing. E-mail copies to everyone on the family disaster team including all adult siblings or create a closed facebook group hand share there.
5) Get everyone’s agreement especially midlife siblings and the older person.
For more information, the University of Florida, Home of Disaster filled hurricanes has a great set of directions.
6) Call a geriatric care manager to manage the plan if you live long distance
Professionals check out the Preparing for Emergencies-chapter in Handbook of Geriatric Care Management fourth edition , by Liz Barlowe on Disaster planning
A GCM member Jim Boyd lost everything- his practice, home, last year in the Paradise Fire.
Professionals Check out my book Care Managers Working With the Aging Family, with it’s chapter on Family Meetings and the Aging Family by Dr. Rita Ghatak of Stanford