How to Help Seniors Prepare for a Power Outage

A flashlight, one of the many tools caregivers can offer to help seniors prepare for a power outage, shines on a radio sitting on a table.
Read these tips on how to help seniors prepare for a power outage!

It’s no secret that along with summer storms come power outages. It may be a small issue for some; however, for older adults, it can cause a real safety concern. Proactive preparation is key to help seniors prepare for a power outage, giving you the peace of mind you need.

Make sure aging loved ones will be safe in the event of unexpected electricity emergencies by first assessing their specific situations. Consider daily routines, mobility limitations, and medical needs. Develop a crisis plan that addresses these factors, ensuring it is straightforward and easy to follow. Include clear instructions on what to do and where you should go if there is a need to leave quickly.

  1. Install Safety Enhancements: Make adaptations to the home that support senior safety. Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, and make certain they function correctly with battery backups. Consider the use of non-slip mats and adequate lighting, especially in areas like bathrooms and hallways, to help prevent a fall or other injury when the lights are out during a power outage.
  2. Keep Important Documents in a Safe Place: Keep copies of important documents such as insurance plans, ID cards, contact information, and medical records for healthcare providers in a safe, easily accessible place. Consider having digital copies available as well, protected by strong passwords and stored on a protected cloud service or a USB drive in a waterproof and fireproof container. This will ensure that essential information is retrievable in a number of emergency scenarios.
  3. Look into Emergency Power Options: Consider installing backup power solutions such as generators or battery backups, particularly for homes where medical equipment is in use that requires electricity. Teach family members how to safely operate these devices and check them regularly to ensure they will be functional when needed.
  4. Keep a Well-Stocked Emergency Kit: Prepare an emergency kit that includes essentials such as water, non-perishable food, medications, and first aid supplies. Also, consider the need for extra batteries, a flashlight, a battery-operated radio, and a manual can opener. Include a supply of blankets and warm clothing in case there are unexpected cold temperatures. Make sure to check and update the contents of the kit on a regular basis, replacing expired items and adapting to changing medical needs.
  5. Make Sure There’s a Network of Support in Place: Establish contacts near the older adult’s home who can help in a pinch. Make sure they are acquainted with the person’s specific needs and know how to help with the emergency plan. Communication is key, so keep contact information updated and easily accessible. Also, provide a list of emergency contacts within this network to local emergency services, which can save precious time in emergency situations.
  6. Regularly Review and Practice the Plan: Review the emergency plan regularly, making adjustments as necessary to adapt to any changes in the person’s health or living situation. Practice emergency drills to ensure everyone feels comfortable about what to do in various scenarios, such as power failures, medical emergencies, and natural disasters, to cover a broad range of possibilities.

Going out of your way to help seniors prepare for a power outage can reduce stress and chaos during an actual emergency.  By taking these steps, you can help ensure that older loved ones stay safe and secure, no matter what obstacles may arise.

At JFS Care, our caregivers are here to help provide necessary care and support during power outages or any other emergency situations. Ensure smooth, seamless care, whatever the weather! Partner with JFS Care for all of your care needs in West Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Brentwood, as well as the surrounding Los Angeles areas, by calling 213-383-2273 or contacting us online today!