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What are your suggestions for taking care of a loved one during a weather emergency?

Answered by David Troxel

February 27, 2014

We recently went through an ice storm with loss of power for 4 days. My mom, who has Alzheimer’s, did not fare well. She was more confused and it seemed to take a lot out of her. What are your suggestions for taking care of a loved one during a weather emergency such as this?

Considering the winter we’ve had throughout much of the United States, your question is timely. Almost all residential care communities have an “emergency plan,” but sadly I don’t think many families create this important plan.

So first I’d make a general emergency plan including family members to call, neighbors who could help, etc. For example, who would you call if you became sick or couldn’t get home to your mother?

Regarding your ice storm, I suspect that much of her stress was caused by the stress of the situation on you and the rest of the family. Persons with dementia are often sensitive to the mood of others; worry can be contagious!

In an emergency you need to focus on the basics, e.g., food and medication, heat and communication.

But if this happens again, put on your best face with your mother and frame the experience as an adventure, “Mom we are living like the Pilgrims who came to America. If they made it through, so can we.”

Thoughts and stories from others

  1. March 3, 2014 at 04:20 pm
    Posted by DarleneHylton

    Label pictures with identification of those pictured..
  2. March 3, 2014 at 03:50 pm
    Posted by laura brown

    I think having picture boards of the persons family always helps. Also having index cards with information about the person is helpful so they can remember things they use to do like fishing or camping and maybe memory albums of trips.

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