A vivid blue sky and lovely autumn fall foliage from Kaye Swain REALTORThis lovely week in autumn, as we wander amidst the beginning of delightful fall foliage, we're also talking about Disaster Preparedness across the nation and across my blogs! FEMA and other government and community agencies are sharing valuable and vital emergency preparation tips for National Preparedness Month 2014 and National Prepareathon Day on September 30, 2014. That's a subject near and dear to my heart so I'm joining in big time!

Here at SandwichINK Real Estate Info, the topic focus is helping our elderly seniors stay safe at home – whether their own home, a multigenerational home they share, or even in a care facility. And emergency preparation is just as vital for them! Maybe more so as they are less likely to be aware of a disaster as others – or to react as fast to a dangerous situation.

As FEMA puts it, Elderly seniors, particularly those "with medical issues and limited mobility, can be especially vulnerable should a natural or manmade disaster strike. Local, state and federal officials are urging all Americans, in particular the elderly, to review, update and rehearse their disaster plans. Those living in a group setting, such as a nursing home or adult living facility, should speak with the administrator to learn about the specific disaster/evacuation plan for that facility."

Many of the normal preparation items are the same for all of us, including a NOAA emergency radio. My senior mom is way ahead of all of us there – she's been using one of those for years, just because she likes how good the reception is and how easy they are to operate. I always tell her, she's my emergency backup if we ever need one of those! 

Pink roses from Roseville California to make scary conversations less scary for our elderly seniors

Some preparation items FEMA suggests for elderly seniors are different, though. Here are some of the items they recommend specific to older seniors: 

  • "Prescription medicines:  These should be rotated frequently and kept up to date;
  • Medical supplies: an extra pair of glasses, hearing-aid batteries and any other personally needed medical devices;
  • An emergency contact list: to reach family, friends and emergency numbers;  
  • If you live alone, talk to your family or friends about preparing for emergencies, getting help in the event of an evacuation and dealing with the aftermath of a disaster. Create a network of neighbors, relatives, friends and co-workers who can help in an emergency. Discuss needs and make sure everyone knows how to operate necessary medical equipment.
  • Arrange for electronic payments of federal benefits or other retirement income. A disaster can disrupt mail service for days or even weeks. Switching to electronic payments also eliminates the risk of stolen checks. The federal government recommends two safer ways to get federal benefits:
  • Direct deposit to a checking or savings account is the best option for people with bank accounts. Federal benefit recipients can sign up by calling (800) 333-1795 or at www.godirect.org/.
  • The Direct Express® prepaid debit card is designed as a safe and easy alternative topaper checks for people who don't have a bank account. Sign up is easy – call toll-freeat (877) 212-9991 or sign up online at http://www.usdirectexpress.com/edcfdtclient/index.html
  • Disaster-assistance grants are not considered taxable income and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid, welfare assistance, food stamps, Supplemental Security Income or Aid to Families with Dependent Children."

You can read the entire page at FEMA.gov – Elderly Need Special Plans To Be Ready For A Disaster

Here's a great video for boomers and seniors:

View in FEMA Multimedia Library

Here's the Ready.gov link for seniors referred to in the video. And by the way, one thing this video recommends is to teach senior parents how to text. Sadly, that isn't going to be possible for many. That's why it is also vital for those of us overseeing our beloved seniors – near or far – to check in with them regularly in case of problems. I also recommend signing up for emergency information from cities and counties in the areas they live to be notified of emergencies sooner.

I really liked this great printout to post at home or share online – Prepare For Emergencies Now: Information For Older Americans

Here are a few other valuable links and resources:

Great disaster preparation resources for elderly seniors and caregivers, that's for sure. Do you have any resources to share as well? We'd love to hear! And don't forget, even though we are staying busy caring for elderly parents, working at home or out, and now – preparing for any emergencies, it's vital to take good care of the caregiver as well. That may be the most important emergency preparedness tip of all for caregivers! So don't forget to…

Lovely Roseville CA roses remind us to stop and smell the roses even in the midst of national preparedness month and the prepareathon

 

 

 

Kaye Swain REALTOR loves to visit the Dedicated House for Anything Blue Friday

Beverlys Pink Saturday for pink photos from my easy to use digital camera

 

 

 

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Fast Forward to the Past

I-enjoyed-watching-a-new-show-preview-in-Roseville-CaliforniaTelevision. For so many of our beloved elderly seniors, it's a lifeline to the outside world. It's also becoming more and more of a challenge for many of them to actually use the TV. It's definitely a necessary aging in place option! What's a caregiver to do?

My senior mom and I just recently switched to Comcast. So far it seems to be meeting our needs, but we definitely had to make some major changes to help my mom with it. We had managed to stave off massive technology changes for one extra year by having the fairly simple DVR she had been used to for four years. But lately, I've noticed she rarely watched the shows that were taped for her, preferring instead to just punch the channel up/channel down button on her remote control to look at what shows were actually on.

Because of that, I felt that the change to Comcast might work OK. We opted for a smart box for myself with the DVR and all the controls. 

The main Comcast Xfinity box for this blue jean baby boomer

We then went with a tiny little box (a DTA, I think) for my senior mom that gives her TV just the channels.

Much tinier option for my elderly senior mom

No confusing menus or directions. Her current remote control does have several buttons she can't use, but so did her last one. As I explained it to her, she just needs to think back to when she first started using TV and just had the basic TV channels and she can either scroll through with channel up and down, or punch in the channel number she wants.

Aging In Place Options For Those TV Challenges

Even better, I found out that Comcast also has an accessibility department with several items to help anyone with any kind of special needs, including our elderly parents. AND not all employees are aware of all it offers. I had specifically asked a couple of different people if they offered a big button remote like our last wonderful company, Click Cable TV, and was told no. Later though, when exploring their site, I found they DO offer one and I immediately went online to request one, along with print-outs of the channel line-up. They provide the big button remote at no charge and it should arrive in the next few days. Hooray! 

In addition, by my having the bigger Xfinity box, we also have access to shows on our iPhone and iPad with their Xfinity apps. So when my senior mom is in another room and wants to watch TV, I can easily take it to her to watch on her iPad. This will be handy when she feels up to walking on the treadmill or is working in the kitchen. Plus, we've got her older TV and VCR with tons of oldie-goldie movies for her to enjoy from years gone by. 

The constantly advancing tech changes that have impacted TV, cell phones, etc., can make it more challenging for our senior parents. But, once again, thinking outside the box can help them with their aging in place needs, including keeping current with the local news or enjoying fun old movies of days of yore.  

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