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Caregiving in the Aftermath of a Storm ó Preparation

By Janie Rosman

(Page 1 of 4)
 

Dadís limited mobility makes him irritable at times. While unsteady with a walker, heís happy to get outside for fresh air. Given that the front of our apartment building was under siege ó er, construction ó for two months while crews replaced the brick and pavement, Dad had exceeded his cabin-fever limit.
 
The back entrance was difficult to navigate so he stayed indoors, save for a few doctorsí visits or the occasional trip to the barber. Thus it was cruel coincidence that, no sooner was the work completed and Dad was able to walk out the front entrance ó and take advantage of the newly-constructed sidewalk lip ó that Mother Nature told him no with forceful winds and torrential rains.
 
Luckily, we didnít lose power, although traffic signals three blocks away were non-functioning. I worried we would, and knew it would be different from what we experienced several summers earlier. Then, Dad was in better health and able to walk the stairwell ó or our apartment ó with a flashlight, relying on his recognition and special familiarity.
 
The aftermath of a storm requires quick thinking to assess immediate needs and replenish losses. Dadís recent inability to leave the apartment was aggravated more by the fact that his free will to do it was blunted by weather and warnings.

Caregivers who listen, and who say the right things at the right times, provide the best assistance; itís important for them to know what to say and do before reaching out. Traumatic experiences cloud judgment and ability to think clearly; often people feel out of control of their surroundings and feelings. Having a plan and a protocol can help caregivers remain in control and be prepared, so they will know what to do and say.

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