Adults and children with special needs

If you’re not able to function without assistance, you need to make some plans where that kind of support is available.

For a person with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, a disruption of routine or an evacuation to a shelter can be extremely stressful. The newsletter of the Alzheimer’s Family Organization offers these tips:

* Make sure someone outside the storm area has the patient’s identification, medical, and contact information.
* Make sure the patient has identification. The AFO offers Wanderer’s Identification bracelets and necklaces in case the patient becomes lost or separated from a caregiver. Contact the AFO toll-free 1-888-496-8004 for information.
* If you choose not to evacuate, prepare a hurricane kit with at least a two-week supply of medication, a list of dosages and instructions, first aid supplies, and important phone numbers.
* If a caregiver decides to remain at home, it is important that the person with Alzheimer’s or dementia has enough activities, especially if the power goes out. Plan to do things that will keep the patient calm.
* The constant surge of television and radio reports are vital during emergencies. But the steady replays of storm images can be upsetting to someone who doesn’t understand that the same images are being repeated.
* People with dementia and Alzheimer’s pick up on the vibes around them. If caregivers and others are calm and collected, they will be too.

ON THE WEB:

Go to www.agingcarefl.org and click on Aging Topics, then go to "Disaster Preparedness for Those With Special Needs" for information on what to do before and after the storm.

Go to elderaffairs.state.fl.us and click on Disaster Preparedness on the right side. The Florida Department of Elder Affairs’ Disaster Preparedness Guide for Elders contains information about various types of disasters.

MORE LINKS:

* National Center on Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities
* Disaster Preparedness for Children
* Emergency Preparedness for Children with Special Health Care Needs
* American Red Cross: Disaster Preparedness for Seniors by Seniors
* National Organization on Disability: Guide on the Special Needs of People with Disabilities

WANDERER'S ID BRACELETS & NECKLACES:
Make sure the patient has identification. The AFO offers Wanderer’s Identification bracelets and necklaces in case the patient becomes lost or separated from a caregiver.

AFO
1-888-496-8004 Toll-free