5 Types of Emergencies That Can Happen With Elderly Parents – And What to Do About Them

Posted May 24, 2022 by in Lifestyle
elderly couple hugging in the street

Are your parents getting to the age where they can’t look after themselves as much and need extra help? Are you concerned that they may find themselves in an emergency and want to know how to prepare for it beforehand?

When our parents reach a certain age, we have to start thinking about what happens if they have an emergency. Of course, you can be there helping them and accompanying them when they have to do something as simple as denture whitening or grocery shopping, but the truth is you can’t be at their disposal 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And contrary to popular belief, emergencies don’t only happen to young people – elderly parents can also face health risks. 

If you’re not prepared for the unexpected, it can be stressful on top of an already difficult situation. That’s why it’s important to know the five types of emergencies that can happen with elderly parents – and how to deal with them. Keep reading for more information!

Medical Emergency

If your elderly parent has a medical emergency, one of the first things to consider doing is calling the emergency services in your country. In the United States, this is 911. If you find yourself in this situation, make it easier for medical personnel to come through by putting animals away in a room and ensuring easy access to your parents.

If you can’t get to your parents in time, it is a good idea to phone a neighbor or a friend to ask if they can go around and check on them. Medical emergencies are things that can’t be avoided for the most part, especially if they are regarding the health of your parents. So, it is a good idea for your elderly parents to have some kind of emergency or panic button that is always on their person or nearby so that you can know whenever there is an emergency.

Fire

It is always a good idea to have a fire plan in place if there is a fire emergency at your elderly parents’ residence. First and foremost, you should discuss the fire emergency plan with your parents and ensure that they know where it is safe and how to get out of the house quickly.

Before you run into any kind of fire incident, it is good to help your parents practice evacuating the house in case of an emergency. On top of that, consider installing smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in their home. Regularly check on their batteries to ensure they are fully functional, and always have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen for easy access.

Break-In

Unfortunately, break-ins are becoming more and more common and more frequent, and if you are caring for your elderly parents, they need to have a break-in plan to know what to do should it happen. Show them that you will be there for them and help them through the process, as this will help them stay calm and focused during a break-in. Throughout the process, assist the law enforcement with the investigation and offer emotional support in the aftermath of a break-in.

Car Accident

Car accidents are very unpredictable. However, they are more frequent when older people are driving. This is often because their senses begin to lack, and they no longer have a good grasp of their sight or visuals.

Car accidents can also be fully unexpected freak accidents, and if your elderly parent is in a car accident, one of the first things to should do is seek medical help. Elderly people are more fragile than younger people, and there is a high likelihood that they have been injured.

From there, you need to contact the insurance company to report the accident and find out what steps need to be taken. You should also gather information from the scene of the accident, including photos and witness statements. It is a good idea to talk to your elderly parent about what happened and to just be there for emotional support, especially through the legal proceedings that may take place.

Natural Disaster

Last but not least, we have natural disasters. If you can go to the natural disaster area and help your parents evacuate, ensure they have all of their important documents, including insurance policies and contact information for their friends and family.

Help them find a place to stay if they can’t return home and assist them in filing any insurance claims that may be necessary. Keep track of all the expenses related to the disaster so you can be reimbursed by insurance. You should also regularly check in on your parents and provide emotional support.

That said, the best way to prevent emergencies from happening to your elderly parents is in-home care. In-home care can play an important role in avoiding emergencies with seniors. By providing regular check-ins and assistance with activities of daily living, in-home care providers like Right at Home in Winnipeg can help identify potential problems before they become serious. 

For example, if a senior is having difficulty bathing or getting around the house, in-home care providers can provide assistance and make sure the senior is safe. In addition, in-home care providers can also provide transportation to medical appointments and other essential errands. This can ensure that seniors stay healthy and avoid potential accidents.