Reacting to an Emergency: Preparation, Prevention, and Response

Taking care of the elderly is important, especially in times of crisis. Sometimes it is difficult, or even impossible, to care for an elderly parent or grandparent at home. Senior homes exist as an option that provides 24-hour service when at-home care is not enough. When an elderly relative is placed in a senior home, it is necessary to have confidence that they will be safe. Here’s what to look for when choosing a senior home with an emergency preparedness plan.

Preparation

The best time to prepare for a crisis is before one occurs. Preparedness can even prevent a crisis from happening. One facet of preparedness is keeping staff up-to-date on procedures through training and easily accessible emergency plans. Maintaining pertinent documents and open communication can also lead to a smoother and faster reaction to a crisis.

Prevention

Prevention of a crisis is all about access to the proper resources and personnel that are most capable of helping. Though there are some emergencies, such as natural disasters, that cannot be avoided, consequences can be mitigated with an established plan of action. A crisis that is not handled well is harmful to the individuals in the care of the home and can lead to bad publicity.

Response

While preparation and prevention can help avoid major problems, there is always the risk of an emergency. Personnel must be trained to react calmly and efficiently in the face of any danger and to put first the interests of the elderly in their care. Knowing who to contact in the event of an emergency is also incredibly important. A designated staff member should be prepared to answer any negative press or public attention. If an emergency is handled poorly, it can reflect on a business for quite a long time.

Planning ahead is beneficial, especially when caring for other people. Chaos and disorganization only make a crisis worse; having a series of steps to follow can make a problem much smaller and end up affecting fewer people.