Home Instead Senior Care® Network Grows to Reach More Seniors, Issues Disaster Preparedness Checklist

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It’s the season when an increased risk of natural disasters such as floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires and heat waves make headlines. Older adults can be particularly vulnerable to such calamities; even more so if they are living alone. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly one-third of all seniors over the age of 65 are home alone. Lack of services in some parts of the country, particularly rural areas, can leave seniors vulnerable. That’s why the Home Instead Senior Care® network has issued a Senior 911 disaster preparedness checklist as the network works to expand into under-served areas.

worried  senior

This season can be a worrisome time for older adults and their family caregivers.

This season can be a frightening time for older adults as well as their family caregivers, particularly those who live many miles from their senior loved ones.

The thought of an impending tornado, fire or flood can strike fear in the hearts of any homeowner. But imagine being a senior home alone.

About 30 percent of the nation’s seniors over the age of 65 live alone, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“This season can be a frightening time for older adults as well as their family caregivers, particularly those who live many miles from their senior loved ones,” said Jeff Huber, president and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care® network.

“We know that a disaster can be deadly for some seniors because of physical and other limitations,” Huber noted. “That’s why the sooner the better for families to talk with their senior loved ones and begin preparing for any kind of emergency that could threaten their health or safety. Seeking out area resources also should be part of a family’s plan.”

Sadly, many areas of the nation do not have the services they need to protect seniors in a disaster. “Lack of services available to some seniors makes them vulnerable to natural disasters,” said Tim Connelly, director of Franchise Development for Home Instead, Inc. “That’s why the Home Instead Senior Care network is working to grow home care and companionship services to under-served territories. Areas, particularly those in rural parts of the United States, are poised for the launch of new offices to help older adults who may be vulnerable to any number of risks including weather,” he noted.

In the meantime, the organization has issued a Home Instead Senior Care disaster preparedness checklist to give both seniors and their family caregivers peace of mind that they are ready if and when a disaster could strike. An emergency plan for seniors who are ill or frail should include back-up caregiving services.

In addition, the Home Instead Senior Care network recommends that seniors and their family caregivers stay abreast of impending disaster by tuning into emergency management office reports through local radio and television, and websites. They also point out the importance of a plan of action that can include escape routes out of a home and even a city.

“Home Instead CAREGiversSM have helped seniors stay safe and calm in earthquakes and even hurricanes,” Huber said. “One Home Instead “CAREGiver of the Year” helped a client flee from the path of a hurricane, taking that older adult out of harm’s way until the risk passed.”

The Home Instead Senior Care network provides various resources that can help keep seniors safe whether they are facing a natural disaster or simply trying to navigate the effects of aging. Services include meal preparation, light housekeeping, medication reminders, shopping and errands.

For information about senior care business opportunities, register for a one-hour Home Instead Senior Care Franchise Opportunities webinar. The next webinar is scheduled for June 22, 2011, at 1 p.m. Eastern Time.
For more information about Home Instead Senior Care, contact Erin Albers, public relations manager, at ealbers(at)homeinsteadinc(dot)com.

ABOUT HOME INSTEAD SENIOR CARE
Founded in 1994 in Omaha by Lori and Paul Hogan, the Home Instead Senior Care® network is the world's largest provider of non-medical in-home care services for seniors, with more than 900 independently owned and operated franchises providing in excess of 45 million hours of care throughout the United States, Canada, Japan, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Switzerland, Germany, South Korea, Finland, Austria, Italy and Puerto Rico. Home Instead Senior Care franchises employ more than 65,000 CAREGiversSM worldwide who provide basic support services – activities of daily living (ADLs), personal care, medication reminders, meal preparation, light housekeeping, errands, incidental transportation and shopping – which enable seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. At Home Instead Senior Care, it’s relationship before task, while continuing to provide superior quality service that enhances the lives of seniors everywhere.

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Erin Albers
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