Here’s my latest article on McKnight’s Long-Term Care News:
Calming fears of floods and other catastrophes
By now it’s likely that you, your staff, the residents and their families have seen the incredibly disturbing photo of assisted living residents in Dickinson, TX, sitting in waist-high floodwaters.
Thankfully, all the older women in the picture have been rescued, but that image and others of the flood are undoubtedly causing concern in your community.
Vulnerable residents with no ability to remove themselves from similar situations may be experiencing anxiety, nightmares and/or agitation after seeing their peers immersed in water. Worried family members will want to know that their loved ones are safe from comparable disasters.
Staff members may be wondering what crisis procedures the facility has in place and if they’re sufficiently prepared to carry them out should the need arise (especially with their own families to worry about in an emergency).
Just as the nation turns to its leaders for reassurance during difficult times, the members of your community will look to you to calm their fears. Now is the time to write a memo to your staff, post a notice in the lobby and add an article to the organization’s newsletter assuring people that there are plans in place for emergencies and that steps have been taken to ensure the safety of the elders entrusted to your care.
Review emergency plans
Review policies and procedures and train staff so that they feel comfortable carrying out these plans. Coordinate with other long-term care facilities so that there is reciprocity of staff and beds in emergency situations.