*Prepping for Seniors: An Introduction*
27 April 2017
Emergency preparedness is more mainstream these days. Whether it becomes a way of life for people, or is just another passing fad, remains to be seen. But seniors may find it a reasonable way to give themselves a bit of an edge at any time, and that is something that is always in style.
Most disasters aren't as dramatic as an earthquake or a hurricane. A bad fall, a power outage or a broken furnace can mean big trouble if you're in your golden years. So can being out of options until that next Social Security or pension payment arrives.
"But I'm Old!"
If you have the means to make it through even three days before help arrives, you are ahead of the crowd. By starting small, you are on your way to being ready for nearly any type of disaster.
You can do most of this prepping stuff on your own. If your health isn't quite what you would wish for, recruit your caregivers to give you a hand. Being prepared gives you back some control over what happens to you.
Using Your Head
Your best and biggest prep item is something very close to you - your brain. By the time you're in your 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond, you have picked up and stored away a huge amount of information. If you're like me, it takes a little longer to drag out that information when you need it, but it can be done. Take your time. It will come.
I can remember things that I learned in elementary school a few decades ago. Shopping without a list is downright dangerous, though. I don't see how that sale on English muffins really makes a difference to my survival if my furnace conks out next winter, for example. Memory can be a little bit of an issue, and paper and pen are your friends.
Write It Down
If you think of something you need or might want to try, write it down as soon as it occurs to you. The back of an envelope is not the best place for this, nor is the back of your hand. The next time you go to the dollar store or Walmart, pick up a stack of small 5x7 notebooks.
I carry at least one of these in my purse all the time. Another one lives in a sink drawer in the kitchen, another in my nightstand. If you still drive, put a notebook and pen in the glove box or center console of your vehicle. Put one in every room if that helps. You never know when inspiration is going to hit you.
A Good Plan Beats a Perfect One
Now is the time for some mindfulness training. Pay attention to what you do during an average day. What time do you get up in the morning, and what is the first thing you do? What is your favorite breakfast food? Is it easy to reach your toothbrush and dental supplies? How about your prescription medicine?
Write that down in one of your little notebooks. Do this for each part of your day - morning, noon, afternoon, evening and bedtime. You can break it up into separate parts and concentrate on each period of time over the course of a few days. The main thing is, focus on what you're doing, and then write it down.
After you've done that, sit back and read what you've noticed. Is there anything that would give you a problem if you were by yourself and on your own for three days? Would it be easy to reach your phone to call for help?
You won't be able to make everything perfect and safe at home, but making it better is something you can do a little bit at a time.
See What I Did There?
I made you think ahead about real things that you or your caretaker can fix. Those are issues that you can take care of with little worry and small expense. The way the world is today, it's easy to fall into worrying about things that you can't control. Concentrating on the things you can is the beginning of wisdom and the end of worry, mostly.
Getting prepared isn't a footrace but a marathon, as we say here on the Rubicon. I run something like a gimpy waddling duck now, but I can still walk the legs off a centipede. That is a key observation, by the way.
The Long and Winding Road
I plan to write a continuing series of articles about various preparedness issues facing seniors. I would like to do this on a continuing basis, but I might forget once in a while. My mind wanders sometimes, but it's too weak to get very far. If it comes to your house, just send it home.Gottin_Himmel
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