Evacuating senior citizens is risky business – and should only be done if absolutely necessary. Local authorities may even call for a citywide evacuation. But, many times assisted living facilities are exempt from those requirements. Montgomery County is a shelter-in-place county, and for good reason.
We believe that evacuations should happen as a last resort and that the best option for seniors in assisted living facilities is to stay where they are most comfortable and where they have all that they need. With smart planning and preparation, most disasters can be withstood without the need to evacuate. The goal then for all shelter-in-place facilities is to be prepared when and if the day comes. And to make sure that our patients and staff know what to do in case of an emergencies such as the storms and flooding in the Greater Houston area last week.
The Difficulty of Evacuating Senior Citizens
When disaster strikes, our senior citizens are among the most vulnerable in our society. The CDC reports that over half of all senior citizens are limited in some way in function or mobility. Evacuating their home environment can be both physically and mentally taxing. Yet, sometimes a severe storm alone can knock out power and really disrupt things.
Some patients need medical equipment that requires power. Others suffer from cognitive impairment or cannot hear well. Many seniors depend on multiple life-saving medications that they must take daily.
With the many special needs that assisted living residents have on a day-to-day basis, maintaining a familiar environment with their own clothing, bed, and routines during an upset caused by a natural disaster is critical. Evacuating should only be done as a last resort.
Types of Disasters that Lead to Evacuations
Severe storms with massive flooding like the one we saw just last week are among the most common natural disasters affecting our area. While extreme flooding may require evacuation to higher grounds or areas not affected by the storms, many times the biggest catastrophe we deal with at the cottages is loss of power and (sometimes) communication. Knowing this, we remain prepared at all times for doing what’s best for our residents – staying put while the storm passes through.
Unlimited Care Cottages Stays Prepared to Shelter-In-Place
Last week when that string of storms swept through Montgomery County, we were prepared with backup generators and plenty of supplies. At Unlimited Care Cottages, we choose to stay because that’s what’s best for our residents. We do everything that we can so that they can stay in familiar surroundings where they have their medications and clothes with them.
We were ready with a week’s worth of food, water, medicine and supplies, recommended by ALFA for sheltering-in-place. If you would like to know more about how we work to keep your loved ones safe, contact us now at Unlimited Care Cottages.