NEW YORK, Aug. 20 "Summer has its own serious issues for seniors living at home, but a little bit of planning by family caregivers can go a long way should a weather emergency occur. Summer emergencies include not only major disasters like hurricanes and wildfires, but also heat emergencies and storms that knock out electricity and access to services," says Dr. Dan Tobin, CEO of Care Support of America, a national family caregiving service.
"If you are caring for an aging relative, it's vital to check in with them more often to make sure that they're prepared. Stay organized, and keep records of essential medical information such as:
"Do what you can to help your parent stay comfortable in the heat - perhaps helping pay their electricity bill in the summer so that they won't scrimp on air conditioning.
"Heat waves and power-outages can go hand-in-hand. Your parents' home emergency-preparedness kit should include the usual first-aid supplies and also instant cold packs, flashlights - including a model that can be used as a lantern - batteries, a radio, plus water and nonperishable food. Power outages can knock out cell-phone service, so a landline phone (with cord) is more reliable.
"Of course the worst-case scenario is that you must help your folks evacuate their home. Take their health notes along with their medications, eyeglasses, hearing aid batteries, and other assistive devices. Also important: Figure out in advance how to arrange for a prescription refill if needed, and locate backup physicians who can see your parents if they are away from home for an extended time."
About Dr. Dan Tobin
Dan Tobin, M.D. is Founder and CEO of Care Support of America, a national family care manager service. He is an adjunct assistant professor of psychiatry (health psychology) at Dartmouth Medical School and the author of books and articles on eldercare issues and positive solutions to family caregiving problems. Dr. Tobin's blog, The Caregiver, appears on the Psychology Today Website at http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-caregiver.
About Care Support of America
Care Support of America (http://www.caresupportofamerica.com) is an independent family care manager service that helps identify and solve family caregiving problems to provide trusted guidance as your parents age. The service begins with a personal family care manager on the phone, working with your parent's physician and a local nurse, to locate and mobilize trusted home care resources in the parent's community; help you understand the doctor's treatment plans and information; help insure that parents remain independent in their home; and answer questions about Medicare, long-term insurance, and basic finances. Care Support of America has provided family care manager services in 32 states and Canada.
If you would like to speak with Dr. Tobin, please contact Davia Temin or Christine Summerson of Temin and Company at 212-588-8788 or [email protected]
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-- The names and contact information for each of their doctors and service providers - be sure to include the reason for seeing each of them. -- A list of medications and the contact information for their pharmacy. -- Notes of their past appointments with physicians, treatment recommendations, and follow up. -- A schedule of future appointments. -- An emergency contact list of family telephone numbers. -- Copies of eyeglass prescriptions, and prescriptions for other assistive devices such as walkers and diabetes monitoring devices.
SOURCE Care Support of America