Power Blackouts: Aging Parents at Risk

Please Share

Imagine your aging parent or other loved one living alone and losing power from a natural disaster or an intentional blackout. What would they do?

It’s fire season in California and with it come massive preventive power cutoffs from the largest utility company. There are lessons for all of us in what we are seeing. The power outages are intentional, supposedly to avert the horrific and disastrous fire damage that has occurred in the recent past. It’s not working. Power outages bring their own crises, particularly to vulnerable elders. Many elders live alone, some with major mobility problems and some depending on electricity to run medical devices. At AgingParents.com, elders are our focus. No client has yet raised the issue of an aging parent being without power, or unable to escape when necessary. I’ll bet that changes now.

Recent news coverage in CA highlights the life-threatening risks to our elders who cannot survive without such things as mechanical breathing assistance. (This danger is not limited to elders). If you have a loved one living alone, consider what you can do to keep them safer in the event of a disaster or even a proactive power cutoff.

Elders in a two-story seniors’ apartment building in my county were interviewed during the blackout. One of the able-bodied gentlemen living there described how some of his neighbors in wheelchairs could not get out without a working elevator. It was completely dark in the building. Some elderly residents there didn’t even have flashlights. One woman on continuous oxygen had enough backup power for a couple of days but the outage lasted longer than that. She described the feeling of complete panic. Everyone was scared.

Everyone should have flashlights, batteries, a battery-powered radio, non-perishable food and water on hand, regardless of where one lives. Does your loved one have these things? Everyone should have a plan for how to evacuate one’s home or apartment, particularly if the person is wheelchair bound. Whether you live close by or not, you can help with preparation.

Every necessary item for preparedness, with the exception of water can be ordered online and delivered to your aging loved one. All public safety entities offer lists to help us know what we need to have on hand. Does your loved one have the things on the list? If your aging parent lives alone, be sure he or she knows whom to call if danger lurks or a power outage is likely. A medical alert pendant or bracelet will call for help, assuming that phone and internet are working.

In my county, over half of the cell phone transmission towers were down during the blackout and many here and in surrounding counties had no internet for days! Your loved one needs a plan. If your aging parent uses a cell phone, a solar charger or backup power source for charging the phone is a must.

Any aging loved one with memory problems who could not figure out how to put new batteries in a flashlight should not be living alone any longer. Leaving them to fend for themselves is far too dangerous when life-threatening conditions arise around them.

We try our best to learn from these frightening and uncomfortable situations we have witnessed in the last week. Regardless of where your aging loved one resides, family members can take proactive steps to protect them against the unpredictable. They need our oversight.

Carolyn L. Rosenblatt, RN, Elder law attorney, AgingParents.com

Book your appointment with us here and relieve your stress today.

What if your aging parent refuses your help? What if he or she stubbornly refuses to move to a safer residence? Is there anything you can do? Get answers with your expert consultants at AgingParents.com.

Tiny URL for this post:
 

Please Share
JUST RELEASED “The Family Guide To Aging Parents”
Stack Of CashCheck out our latest website: AgingInvestor.com click HERE to learn more
FREE Report: “One Critical Step You Must Take To Avoid Your Aging Parents Debts”
CLICK on the image Below
Testimonials by our readers
"Thank you for the article on the "grey area". It validated what I am currently going through with my Mother. It is so painful for me to go back and forth with her behavior. I just don't know what to do about the estranged sister who has exploited well over $50K of my mother's savings and my Mothers admitted " lack of "will power" to say no to her." Robert ________________________________ "I do want to thank you for the Webinar you offered. It helped me a great deal as I was facing the need to lead our family in finding a safe living situation for our mother. That information and the other information you offered as downloads gave me much needed guidance when I was feeling tremendous anxiety and uncertainty." Betty
FREE Report: 10 Warning Signs Your Aging Parent Needs Help With Money
Get Quick Tips – Newsletter FREE…. Just CLICK Below
Categories
Archives
  • Longevity: Do You Really Want It? August 1, 2020
    Longevity: Do You Really Want It? Hello again, Carolyn and Mikol here. We’re thinking about longevity a lot more when we visit Mikol’s Mom, Alice who is 91. She has friends who are 96 and 98.  Still going.  Is it…Read more ›
    Mikol Davis
  • Why Aren’t Our Aging Parents Getting The Message About Financial Abuse? August 1, 2020
    By AgingParents.com©2020 By Carolyn Rosenblatt, RN, Attorney, AgingParents.com Cities and counties have educational programs. So do senior centers. Public information about financial elder abuse is offered by AARP.  And yet, we still have a $36B a year problem of money…Read more ›
    Carolyn Rosenblatt
  • Great Resource Links August 1, 2020
    Alzheimer’s Association – national voluntary organization dedicated to researching the prevention, cures, and treatments of Alzheimer’s Disease. Includes information about the disease and available services. Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support – online education, support, and resources for caregivers. Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center…Read more ›
    Mikol Davis
  • Remembering My Father July 4, 2020
    I lost my father Joe Davis 12 years ago today. My sister Michele reminded me that Dad always stood for freedom for all of us together.
    Mikol Davis
FREE Report: Mental Wellness Technique For Stress Relief