6 Helpful Tips for Prepping with the Elderly

You know all too well that prepping for yourself is a feat. But try prepping with seniors in the family, and you’ll learn it’s a whole different story.

Now obviously, every household member is valuable, so you just have to use your knowledge and skills to your advantage and work within your old folks’ capabilities.
If you’re searching for sound advice, here are 6 practical tips that will help make prepping with the elderly a little easier:

Establish Strengths and Weaknesses

close up shot of an elderly man

Not all seniors are frail and feeble. A big chunk are still alert and active. 

When prepping with the elderly, it’s crucial to assess what these old-timers can or can’t do before making a disaster plan. They may only need a little assistance, so give them a chance to help out.

In an SHTF situation, you’re gonna need all hands on deck. You might as well take advantage of everyone in your household. Of course, don’t force the older folks to do any heavy lifting if it’s not possible for them to do so. They can help you grow a survival garden or preserve food instead.

Just don’t push ‘em to their limit. Things as simple as walking might be hard for your loved ones, making it important to prep assistive devices like a cane, walker, or wheelchair. 

Make sure you’re aware of their incapabilities so everyone can be better prepared when disaster comes. Your senior family members may not be as fast or strong as they used to be, so if you live in a flood-prone area, for example, you’ll need to help them evacuate to a safer place. 

Stock Up On Medications and Medical Supplies

medicine tablets and capsules

The elderly are particularly susceptible to injuries and diseases, so be practical when you’re prepping with senior family members. 

The first thing on your agenda should be to make a list of all the medications they’re on. Take note of the dosing instructions and keep a stash of meds for emergencies.

Next, add the medical supplies and equipment they might need to your checklist, like a blood pressure monitor, wheelchair, or an oxygen tank.

Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re stocking up on medications and medical supplies:

  • For easier access to everyone’s medical history, keep everything in an emergency binder. This folder is a collection of important information and documents readily available in case of disasters and emergencies. If you don’t wanna carry a bulky binder around, backup everyone’s information online or in a flash drive.
  • Just to be sure, stockpile a month’s worth of critical medications in a daily pill organizer. This way, you’ll have enough extras on hand if an emergency lasts longer than expected.
  • Be mindful of expiration dates. Rotate the meds regularly and store them in a cool, dry, and dark area to prolong shelf life. If you have unused or expired meds in your stockpile, dispose of them properly. The best way to safely put them away is through drug take-back locations. For other options, check out this article.
  • For battery-operated medical equipment, it’s wise to keep spare batteries in case of a power outage or if they run out of juice.
  • Since blackouts are likely to happen after a major disaster, you might want to invest in an emergency generator to ensure your nebulizer, ventilator, and other equipment will still be up and running.

Personalize Food Selection

different kinds of food in containers

Since gram and gramps probably have dietary restrictions they need to watch out for, keep these in mind when prepping your survival pantry. Some seniors may also not have the ability to navigate their way around the pantry and kitchen safely, so it’s your job to help them with their meals when SHTF.

Before building your prepper pantry, take note of their food allergies and other important nutritional considerations. If you’re new to this, these tips might help you get the work done:

  • Consult with their doctors before making any meal plans to know the types of food they should be eating and the ingredients you need to prepare.
  • Aside from stocking up on food that’s high in energy and nutritional value, don’t forget about food supplements, vitamins, and minerals.
  • You’ll be doing a lot of manual labor when S hits the fan, so consider storing food that’s easy to prepare without sacrificing any dietary needs.
  • Don’t give yourself a hard time by stockpiling food that’s impossible to source. Instead, go for grub that you won’t have a problem finding at your local grocery, like rice, pasta, beans, and oats.

Prepare to Bug In

Real talk — bugging out with older adults can be one heck of a challenge. Transportation alone will be a problem; what more putting these poor folks under stress in a harsh environment?

When evacuating your home doesn’t sound like the best plan, bug in instead. You’re already prepping medical supplies and food, which means you’re halfway there.

Part of every bug in plan is ensuring your home has what it takes to hold down the fort until things get better. Some ways to do so are installing cheap security systems, building a safe room, and setting up booby traps.

Remember: you’re not just dealing with Mother Nature here. When things go south, people turn into desperate folks, so you might have to face intruders or looters, too.

One last thing: don’t forget to stockpile survival gear essentials to be extra prepared.

Boosting your home defense may seem like a lot of work, but you’ll thank yourself for it later.

Store Clean Water Before It’s Too Late

bottles of water

We cannot stress how crucial it is to have clean drinking water in challenging circumstances, especially if you live with senior family members.

In an SHTF situation, there might not be a drop of water coming out of your faucet. And without water, you’re gonna deal with a whole other problem: dehydration. For those who are already fragile, this scenario could mean death.

When it comes to safe water storage, contamination is your biggest concern. But with careful planning and execution, your supply will last for a long time, and you’ll avoid water-borne infections at the same time.

If you have zero access to clean drinking water or run out of it, collect water from what’s available in your surroundings. Just don’t drink directly from the source without filtering or purifying it first.

Practice Situational Awareness

People often see old-timers as feeble, so they’re always targets for looting or mugging. 

Your job is to prevent that from happening. While taking self-defense classes is one way to protect your family from threats, it still makes sense to be aware of what’s going on around you.

This way, you’ll know when a threat is present, and you can act accordingly. Keeping a few non-lethal self-defense weapons on your person might also prove helpful if an attacker gets violent.

These weapons will give you enough time to get out of a tricky situation without fatally injuring yourself or other people. You might also want to consider giving your older family members some prepper spray so that they can defend themselves, too.

Final Thoughts

Prepping with the elderly has its challenges, but all it takes is a well-thought-out plan. With proper planning, you’ll be assured that the senior members of your household are safe and sound if a major disaster comes knocking at your door.
Did you find this article helpful? Feel free to check out our other articles on survivalism and preparedness.

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