We in the San Francisco Bay Area have recently experienced one of the worst air quality periods in our history.
The raging fires in Paradise, CA and the surrounding area brought about extremely poor air quality. Many of us have had some eye or respiratory issues directly relating to the devastation of homes and lives in this Northern California community.
The majority of those who have not been accounted for or have lost their lives in this tragedy will end up being the old, frail and disabled. It is hard for most of us to imagine the terror and fear the community experienced when the fire exploded and engulfed this small quaint town. Our hearts go out to all who have experienced loss.
What could have been done differently – if anything, in Paradise?
What can we do for ourselves to be ready for emergencies and poor air quality? Even more important, what can we do for our older or disabled family members to ensure that they can evacuate if necessary? How can we be certain they will have the supplies and support needed for a similar kind of emergency?
Eldercare Services provides home safety evaluations for free when we visit to assess clients for our services.
This includes checking to see that clients have an emergency preparedness supply for 3 days and flashlights (both good ideas for Holiday Gifts). If they don’t, and they become clients, our Professional Care Manager will assist in getting those items for the home. A Professional Care Manager takes on many tasks to ease the worry you might have for a loved one. Most pharmacies will provide you with a seven-day package of your medications to add to an emergency kit. Be sure to check expiration dates when updating your kit or if there is a change in medications. There is often a fee for this service and is usually outside most prescription drug plans – but worth the extra cost.
Having face-masks with an N95 or better rating in your emergency kit is a good idea when faced with poor air quality. We should all be changing our furnace filters and running the fans on our heating system during smoky times.
Besides an emergency kit and flashlights, shoes with soles (not soft slippers) should be under the bed for emergencies that require evacuation at night. A whistle on your bedside table is another good idea and a possible stocking stuffer.
Cell phones should be charged daily. A solar radio with a hand crank feature that includes a USB plug for charging cell phones is a good idea to have on hand. A great Holiday Gift that could provide safety as well as power!
Do you have older family members that live alone? Possibly, one of them is a caregiver to the other?
If this is the case an “Emergency Response System” is always a good idea – and a great Holiday Gift. The emergency response system is the pendant or bracelet that you push when you need 911 help. The cost is about $40 a month and perfect for the person for whom you can’t find gifts. Our professional staff can assist you in choosing the right service and plan.
Stay informed! Register your family member for emergency alerts in the county in which he or she resides. During an emergency your family member will be alerted to the situation. When registering make sure ALL important contact phone numbers are available and updated. To register you or your family members to be notified of emergencies in your area CLICK HERE!
We tend to believe that earthquakes are the biggest emergency that we need to prepare for living in California.
However, in thinking about the fires in Santa Rosa and Napa last year and now in Redding, Paradise and Malibu, we really should consider our risk of fire as well. Don’t forget 1991, when the Oakland fire destroyed 3000 homes right here in our area.
Along with exercise, good diets and socialization, aging well is also aging safely.
Remember to plan for the emergencies!
A professional Care Manager can assist you with a “Comprehensive Aging Life Care Plan” that will cover emergency planning.
Give us a call at (866) 909-6303 if you want the best for those you love. We would be happy to be a partner with you in your journey for a safe, long, and happy life.