Elders Preparing

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We've gotten LOTS of great feedback on the question of what are the most overlooked items on preparedness list, and now we are asking about


What about seniors?

I have read a lot of things about things families need to be prepared, but I have read little about our senior population? Especially for those that cannot live with their families, and which live by themselves, what special considerations should they be making? Does anyone have some good ideas? Or items that seniors need more than others?

Lots of local officials "talk" about taking care of the elderly in their self-assumed 3 day bump in the road. I wish I could wish them good luck. It will take more than that for our seniors to weather y2k. Of course, they have the skills and experience of hard times that make their contributions to Y2K preparation priceless.

But getting back to basics, what do you think are the things that seniors need to consider that "younger" do not? To spark your thinking, this was a post concerning this here a few days ago:

Taz (Tassie @aol.com) responded to a message you left in the TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) bboard:

Subject: Response to Most Overlooked Preparation items? What's your experience

Re the elderly Those tablets that phizz for cleaning dentures, Fleets enamas, Immodium D, Gas Ex, TP and Kleenex and Paper towels,Aspirin, linamint,and did I mention TP? Please don't forget the TP. When I had my parents and mother in law here, I bought TP, Kleenex and Paper towels by multiple cases and had never heard of y2k. Did I mention TP? And try and think about things they like and will whine alot if they don't have. They can get very set in their likes and dislikes. And sometimes, as with my mother, she hated something one day and was in love with it the next. It gets real tedious taking care of the elderly and you want to think of those things that will make it easy on you as well. I am down to one now. The mother in law and she is the easiest of all. This is a gal who used to make elk camp for 20 men and would go bear hunting. Has 3 bear notches on her gun. She is truly a mother in law made in heaven. I really don't know how I would get through y2k if my own mother were still alive.

LOTS of toilet paper!! Taz

(I only disagree with the TP. Many of these people grew up when newspaper was used for waste requirements, or other things were used. I think if the budget is a concern for some, then spending some of that TP money could go to food and alternative herbs and medicines.

Shalom, Walter Skold Lazarus Foundation

-- Walter Skold (laznet@lazrus.org), June 05, 1999


Safe Source of Warmth.Smoke Alarms.(speaking from personal experience)Pet food if they have pets as I know of at least three with little money who do not eat properly but their cats do !

-- Chris (griffen@globalnet.co.uk), June 05, 1999.

Prunes and dental liners (in addition to the above-mentioned.)


-- Anita Spooner (spoonera@msn.com), June 05, 1999.

A buddy. That is they shouldn't go through this alone. They need to be willing to work with people physically near them. They need to be willing to be checked up on. I know many are quite self reliant but anyone who is unwilling to have a partner of some sort is going to find trouble.

They need to make sure someone else knows what medications they are on, what their physical/medical needs are. The need to let that buddy know who their next of kin are and who their doctor is. That buddy should have a key to their home/apartment in case they don't answer the door.

They should also have a frank discussion with their physician regarding a supply of medications, how to store them for the longest shelf life and what to do if they are unable to obtain a refill.

If they live in a high rise they need to demand that the management make contingency plans for water, loss of elevator use, heat, food and light. What will the management allow them to do in their own apartments or condo re: alternative heat/cooking and storage of fuel?

Do they have a "bug out bag" ready if they are moved to a shelter because they are electrically dependent or too feeble in the State's eyes to go it alone?

-- Kay (jkbrooks@bellsouth.net), June 05, 1999.

My mother will be 87 soon and I am planning to take her with me wherever I have to go. I hope the familes of all elderly people will take them in. My biggest concern for my mother's comfort is warmth. She is always cold. If you can afford it, a down comforter is very warm to wrap them up in. They will need plenty of warm socks, gloves, sweatshirts/pants, shoes, etc. How about Ensure if they are too stressed to eat? My mother likes peanut butter. Lots of calories and easy to eat. Yeah and she likes TP and kleenex too! And don't forget to get some moisturizing eye drops. Lotion for dry skin. Also some anti-itch stuff for the skin that gets dry in spite of the lotion.

-- Sharon L (sharonl@volcano.net), June 06, 1999.

Vitamins. Canes (in case there's an interruption in their arthritis med supply). Ace bandages. Anything by Dr. Scholl. Feverfew seeds to grow their own aches and pains plant. Get flu and pneumonia shots this fall. Cans of stew, other meals-in-a-can--older people don't have as much energy as younger people, particularly when summer heat hits. The peanut butter suggestion is a very good idea. Clothes pins. Extra batteries and other supplies for hearing aids, blood pressure monitors, glucometers, etc.

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), June 06, 1999.

You might inventory what is in their bathroom or linen closet at present.

Some older people require incontinence products. Check out more durable solutions than the disposable ones available.

Any denture cleaners, adhesives, etc.

Extra batteries for hearing aids.

Books, cards with large print.

Lightweight sweaters for use when they are cold and no one else is.

Plenty of extra supplies for any of their hobbies.

Lots of patience!

-- Dian (bdp@accessunited.com), June 06, 1999.

Bedpans, urinals, bedsore medication (med pros will know specifics), Preparation H or equivalent, BenGay or equivalent, talcum (baby) powder, reading glasses for some, magnifying glasses for others, lumber or equivalent to make beds hard for those that need hard beds, pads for those that need a soft bed.

Non-electric blender equivalent for those that cannot eat solids.

Since the body loses heat most rapidly through the scalp and the hands and feet, warm (& soft) caps, gloves, and footgear for cold periods.

You can help yourself here by learning how to knit and/or crochet, then get the yarn and make your own. Then make more for barter and trade. Sooner probably than later you will find someone that didn't allow for the cold on the head, and could use a good, warm, knit cap. Knitting is a good activity for those long winter days and evenings, and even the youngsters can do it.

-- LP (soldog@hotmail.com), June 06, 1999.

I have a 93 year old friend who will stay in her own home. She still drives, cleans hew own house, cooks and is getting her canning jars ready for summer. She has a fireplace and a woodstove. She has had them both cleaned and has a well-stocked wood pile. Her family lives in another state but she wants to stay here near her friends and church. I just wish most folks were as prepared as she was. We tend to forget that the "Old Folks" lived with oil lamps, outhouses and ice boxes. They need to make special preparations because of health problems, but they may do better then the average Joe Sixpack down the street.

-- Homeschooling Grandma (mlaymon@glenn-co.k12.ca.us), June 07, 1999.

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