Prepper guides are generally created with a wide demographic in mind. However, they can become even more practical when tailored to meet more individualized needs. One demographic in particular, seniors, seem to often lack specialized prepping guides.
There are several special considerations to take into account for seniors (or family members of seniors) who are working towards being well-prepped and safe. Some of these considerations include assisted living vs. independent living, access to healthcare, and mobility.
With these in mind, seniors can have a more inclusive prepper guide that will help them perfect the art of survival.
Cover All of Your Bases
With the COVID-19 pandemic, many people found themselves in tough, dangerous situations. Many were laid off from work which ultimately led to them losing all their benefits, including health insurance. There are those who also can’t afford health services due to being furloughed. For seniors, in particular, access to doctors for health matters unrelated to COVID-19 became limited if not outright impossible due to the threat of the virus spreading. While there are certainly valuable resources through telemedicine, a senior must have access to the internet, either via service or a hotspot, for this option to work.
With so many people’s health suddenly at risk, and without proper access to healthcare services, it’s worth finding ways to fill in the missing gaps should a similar situation happen again. Medicare offers a supplement plan, Plan L, as part of their Medigap program which can help cover the gaps in your original Medicare plan. Now might also be a good time to procure devices that can help with access to telemedicine and telehealth services. Even having a basic smartphone can help. And if there isn’t a need for internet access outside health services, consider purchasing an affordable hotspot device rather than a new internet plan, which is also handy to have in case the power gets cut off.
Tailor Your First Aid Kit
Any good preppers guide includes plenty of information on how to administer first aid. However, many guides can leave out seniors, who may not always have the body strength or healing abilities as younger folks. They’re also more prone to falls, cardiovascular problems, and temperature-related illnesses such as heat stroke or hyperthermia. It’s important to know how to treat yourself and other seniors in your life in both emergencies and for general bumps and bruises.
Experts at Healthline have an expansive, helpful guide on essential first aid for seniors worth familiarizing yourself with. They also explain that as you age, you become more likely to develop chronic medical conditions or take medications that can hinder your body’s ability to regulate its temperature. This means older adults in particular need to use sunscreen, wear appropriate protective clothing when outdoors, dress in layers that protect them from cold weather, and drink plenty of water. When putting together your senior survival pack, be sure to include the above to reduce the chances of a serious injury or complication in an emergency.
Just as we prepare physically for emergencies, we need to also prepare mentally. The state of a disaster or crisis, whether man-made or natural, creates a great deal of anxiety and stress. Seniors in particular are vulnerable as many live in assisted living facilities away from their families or live completely alone. In cases of emergency, being separated from loved ones can lead to harmful levels of stress that cause your immune system to weaken and even vision and hearing loss.
Learning how to manage and cope with stress and anxiety now, will help ensure that you’re mentally prepared for future disasters. Some ways that you can reduce anxiety and manage your stress include:
- Breathing Exercises: There are many different breathing techniques you can learn and use depending on the kind of stress or anxiety you’re dealing with. There is also meditation which can help clear your mind and help you re-focus, which is always important during high-tense emergencies.
- Practicing Mindfulness: This is important to help keep you mentally grounded and present, particularly when in an emergency when you’ve got to make split decisions.
- Exercising Regularly: Okay, even though I just said to focus on your mental health rather just physical, the two are undoubtedly connected. Exercising regularly as a senior can help with anxiety and stress, improve cognitive functions and sleep patterns, and even connect you socially with others, like joining your neighborhood’s walking group.
Don’t overlook your mental health when it comes to prepping. In cases of emergencies, our minds might be the only tool we have access to.
As a senior, having an expanded prepping guide can help you feel more independent and ready to survive in most emergency situations. Instead of worrying relentlessly over what you’ll do in a tough situation, you can utilize the many skills and knowledge you’ve gained over the years and put them to good use.