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Preparedness Basics for the Elderly or Disabled

user profile picture Samantha Biggers Jan 14, 2023
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More people than ever are living alone or with another older person.

If you are older or disabled and live independently, you can do plenty of things to make it through short to moderately long emergencies.

If you have an elderly relative living independently, you can help them organize and prepare using this article’s guidance. That being said, this is general advice for the elderly or disabled. Other items and accommodations will likely be necessary for specific chronic conditions and unique situations.

Budgeting for additional food and supplies on a fixed income can be challenging, but even an extra $20 spent here and there can make a difference. Also, buying more when there are good sales or even splitting the cost of bulk items with a friend or relative can help make it easier to store supplies.

The Basics: Food and Water

At least a month’s supply of food on hand that is simple to prepare or ready to eat is wise for the elderly and disabled. Here are some suggestions:

  • Energy and protein bars
  • Freeze-dried food rations
  • Ready-to-eat canned foods
  • Dried fruit
  • Cereal
  • Dried or stable milk products
  • Canned meats

Water and Other Beverages

I recommend older people have a gravity-fed water filter on hand in case water supplies become contaminated. Peak Prosperity has a “Quick Guide to Water Filters” for those that want to check out multiple options.

In addition, at least four days of drinking water in manageable-sized containers is advised. Finally, remember most pre-packaged plastic water bottles are not sturdy. The bottles tend to break down over time, so they will occasionally need to be replaced.

Water bricks or the larger bottles used for water dispensers are excellent choices for long-term storage, but larger bottles can be hard to lift for many.

Electrolyte packs like Emergen-C or Kinderlyte are great to have on hand for preventing dehydration and adding some flavor to bland-tasting water.

Other beverage options

  • Canned and bottled juices
  • Soda
  • Seltzer

Pets

Stockpiling pet foods may seem complicated if space is limited, but here are some great solutions.

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