Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks!

Dr. Cynthia J. Hickman
3 min readMay 28, 2024

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Topic: Caregiver Alert: Hurricane Season Preparation

Hurricane season has arrived, and it has been predicted to be an active season. The necessity of planning is the best advice I can share. Caregivers must prepare because your loved ones are counting on you. Seniors face unique challenges during weather emergencies, such as chronic health limitations, many medical needs, feelings of isolation, restricted mobility, and mental distress. Many require help with oxygen, ventilators, nebulizer treatments, electric wheelchairs, hospital beds, and daily medication for their health conditions. Making a plan that includes all the care items used in the primary setting is paramount.

Readiness Matters

Protecting older adults from the effects of extreme weather can be challenging. Supplies, medications, important documents, significant family phone numbers, and an evacuation option are all important considerations, but they are also needed. These are things you may want to consider now — yes, now!

*Generate a chain of family contacts. The list should include family, friends, and neighbors. Be considerate because one person should not be responsible for a weather crisis. All hands on deck is vital.

*Medications that your loved one is taking should have a supply of at least seven(7) days. If you need to reorder medication, do it right away.

*List all medications. It would not hurt to have the names and contact information of healthcare practitioners and the pharmacy of choice.

*Battery operated equipment, contact the provider for extra power packs.

* Respiratory conditions depend on equipment: If the electricity goes out, the provider should request and deliver backup battery supplies. The portable oxygen concentrator runs on batteries, so contact the provider. The provider should also request an extra supply of oxygen tanks.

*Technology is a part of our world. Have multiple ways to charge devices. Also, batteries of different sizes should be on hand.

*Candles and flashlights are a must. Don’t forget your light sticks and matches. Rechargeable lighters are available

* Purchase nonperishable food items that do not require refrigeration. Nutritional limitations can still be managed. Remember to read food labels to monitor sugars, fats, salt, and calories.

* Keep your vehicle with a full gas tank and cash on hand.

As Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate, I cannot overstate the importance of being ready. By taking these steps, you’re not only ensuring the safety of your loved ones but also empowering yourself with the confidence that you’re prepared for inclement weather. Please do not wait until the last minute to gather the things and information you may need. Your loved one depends on you to provide for them and keep them safe. Natural disasters are out of our control, but readiness is in our control. Be Safe! Be Well!

Dr. Cynthia J. Hickman is a retired registered nurse and case manager; CEO of Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate and author of From the Lens of Daughter, Nurse, and Caregiver: A Journey of Duty and Honor, and The Black Book of Important Information for Caregivers

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Website: www.cynthiajhickman.com

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Dr. Cynthia J. Hickman

Dr. Hickman is the author of From the Lens of Daughter, Nurse, and Caregiver: A Journey of Duty and Honor and The Black Book of Important for Caregivers.