Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Have action plan for helping relatives with special needs

Families must develop an action plan for their relatives who need assistance long before a hurricane blows into the Gulf of Mexico.

If you depend on outside caregivers for feeding, bathing, physical therapy, medication or other help, the storm may interrupt that reliable help. Start thinking now about who can provide that assistance: Does your health agency offer a backup? Can a family member or friend step in? What training do they need?

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 in New Port Richey offers these tips:

• Make sure someone outside the storm area has the person's identification, medical information and contact information.

• Make sure the person has identification – a bracelet or necklace with name and contact information – in case he or she becomes lost or separated from a caregiver.

• 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 cannot get to your home, it is important that a person with Alzheimer's or dementia has enough activities, especially if the power goes out. Plan activities that calm the person.

• 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 and click on "Aging Topics," then on "Disaster Preparedness for Those with Special Needs," for detailed information on what to do before and after the storm. There are checklists for hurricane kits and lists of the paperwork and other items you'll need.

Have action plan for helping relatives with special needs 05/16/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 1:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. St. Petersburg council sets millage rate in first budget hearing

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The City Council set the millage rate and gave initial approval to Mayor Rick Kriseman's $538 million budget at Thursday night's hearing.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman talks about the state of the city on Tuesday, two days after Hiurricane Irma passed through the state. [EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  2. How many more people would lack coverage under Cassidy-Graham? We can guess


    WASHINGTON — It's safe to say the new Obamacare rollback measure toward which the Senate is charging would mean fewer Americans have health coverage. Exactly how many is unclear. Some argue it could be more than 22 million people. Others say it could be fewer.

  3. Woman's decomposed body found near St. Petersburg railroad tracks


    ST. PETERSBURG — A woman's body was found near the railway tracks behind an empty building at 3100 38th Ave. N, according to St. Petersburg police.

  4. Warehouse burns on Tampa's east side


    TAMPA — Hillsborough County emergency crews are at the scene of a two-alarm fire at a warehouse near 56th Street and East Hillsborough Avenue.

    Hillsborough County firefighters battle a blaze Thursday night at a warehouse on Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa. [Hillsborough County Fire Rescue]
  5. 'Dream big' drives Lightning's Conacher brothers

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — Two words: Dream big.

    Cory Conacher includes them every time he signs an autograph for a young hockey fan.

    Tampa Bay Lightning forward Cory Conacher (89) on the ice during Lightning training camp in Brandon Friday morning (09/15/17).