The heat wave disaster this week should tell you that you need aging family meeting about any aging family members in the Midwest or east coast. You need a disaster plan because older people are more likely to die in heat wave disasters like the broiling one this week.
What would be the agenda of that disaster family meeting?
1) Create a disaster plan for the older person. This map out what each sibling and family member needs to do
2) Create a disaster team. This would be all adult siblings all over the country, family nearby, caregivers and neighbors.
Share your disaster plan with everyone. “ If the temp goes over 90 – do ___________
Include someone on the team who can carry heavy objects like wheelchairs
Name a substitute caregiver if the regular one can’t get there
3) Make an evacuation plan. Where is the nearest shelter, what supplies?
do you have on hand? Get list from your local Red Cross
How many people do you need to make the move to safety?
4) Put all of the above in writing. E-mail copies to everyone on the family disaster team including all adult siblings.
5) Get everyone’s agreement especially midlife siblings and the older person.
For more information, the University of Florida, Home of Disaster filled hurricanes has a great set of directions.
6) Call a geriatric care manager to manage the plan if you live long distance
Professionals check out the chapter in my Handbook of Geriatric Care Management third edition, on Disaster planning
Professional s Check out my book Care Managers Working With the Aging Family, Jones and Bartlett, with it’s chapter on Family Meetings and the Aging Family
My new e book on family meeting will be out this month. Check my web site , for details.