Information for and about Seniors

Disaster Preparedness: Alzheimer's Caregiving Tips:

Winter Care for Seniors
Winter is an especially important time to keep an eye on seniors to make sure they are living as safely as possible. In addition to cold weather, ice and snow, the winter season can bring health problems and injury to senior citizens. That’s why it’s important for relatives and friends to check in with their older adult family members, friends and neighbors. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
  • Falls are a concern for seniors. Putting road salt, cat litter or sand on sidewalks, steps and driveways will make these areas as slip-free as possible. Seniors should also wear boots with non-skid soles to make a fall less likely to occur. Older adults, especially those with heart disease or high blood pressure should leave snow shoveling to others.
  • Cold temperatures make senior citizens susceptible to hypothermia, a dangerous drop in body temperature. Older adults tend to produce less body heat than younger people and it’s hard for them to tell when the temperature is too low. Learn the warning signs of this weather related illness and how to prevent it.
  • Keep indoor temperatures no lower than 55 degrees. If going outdoors is necessary, dress in layers to stay warm. Wearing two or three thin layers of loose-fitting clothing is warmer than a single layer of thick clothing.
It’s a good idea to check on elderly loved ones regularly or, if you live out of town, make arrangements for neighbors to check in and provide their number to call in an emergency. With your help, older adults can enjoy the winter months safely.

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
"Unlike older adults who reside in assisted living facilities and nursing homes, older adults who live in the community are sometimes over-looked during the planning process for preparing for an emergency. Older adults are especially vulnerable as they are more likely to have multiple chronic conditions, cognitive and physical disabilities, or limited resources that affect their ability to appropriately prepare for and respond to an emergency. Focus areas include the following:"

Medication Interactions
For those who take medication, AAA has developed a website where you can assess your driving risk.

Other Resources
  1. Administration on Aging—Resources for Individuals, Families, and Caregivers The Administration on Aging (AoA) is the federal agency responsible for advancing the concerns and interests of older people and their caregivers. The AoA provides information, tools, and resources to assist older Americans, their families, and their caregivers, in preparing for disasters or emergencies.
  2. The American Red Cross— Available in large print, this section of The American Red Cross website, intended for seniors and their caregivers, offers suggestions on disaster preparedness. A fact sheet, written by seniors, provides guidance and resources for emergency planning.
  3. Home Safety Council—Safe Seniors The Home Safety Council (HSC) is a nonprofit organization devoted to preventing home-related injuries and educates people about being safer in and around their homes. The Safe Seniors web page includes information on safety checklists, fire safety precautions and the Safe Steps Program, which educates older adults and their families on ways to reduce falls.
  4. Meals on Wheels Association of America—Fire H.E.L.P. Residential Fire H.E.L.P. (Homebound Elderly Lifeline Project) is a fire safety training project conducted by the Meals on Wheels Association of America (MOWAA) in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the International Association of Fire Chiefs. The program works to promote safety and minimize fire-related injuries and loss of life and property through educating homebound older Americans. Additional emergency preparedness resources and training materials can be found on the Meals on Wheels Association of America (MOWAA) website (see
  5. National Fire Protection Association—Older Adults This National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) web page offers fire safety information for older Americans, who are twice as likely to be killed or injured by fires compared to the general population. The site includes safety tips and instructions for creating a fire safety plan and links to a fire safety video and program, both available for purchase.
  6.—Ready America for Older Americans Ready America is an extension of the campaign developed by the Department of Homeland Security to provide tailored preparedness information for specific Americans, including older Americans. This section of the website provides disaster planning information specifically for older Americans, and includes a seniors instructional video, an older Americans brochure, and links to more information on disaster planning.
  7. U.S. Fire Administration—Fire Safety for Older Adults This website promotes fire safety for older adults (50-plus) and their caregivers, by providing a fire safety checklist, fact sheets, and general tips for fire safety. The web page links to the USFA’s A Fire Safety Campaign for People 50-Plus.


  1. AARP—We Can Do Better: Lessons Learned for Protecting Older Persons in Disasters This report presents highlights from a 2005 AARP conference, a literature review, and data from a short survey of persons ages 50 and older. The report provides suggestions and links to tools and resources for policymakers at federal, state, and local levels, nongovernmental organizations, and older persons, family caregivers, and persons with disabilities.
  2. Administration on Aging—Just in Case: Emergency Readiness for Older Adults and Caregivers This supplement to the Administration on Aging (AoA) book Aging in Stride: Plan Ahead, Stay Connected, Keep Moving recommends emergency readiness priorities for older adults and their caregivers. The guide provides information on emergency supplies, plans, and checklists.
  3. U.S. Fire Administration—Fire and the Older Adult This report, intended for a professional audience, examines fire risk factors for older adults (65-plus) and presents statistics regarding the fire problem among the elderly in the United States. The report details fire risks for older adults in the home, long-term care facilities, and home health and hospice.
  4. APHA's Get Ready campaign has created a new five-part preparedness fact sheet series for people living with disabilities. The fact sheets are available in English and Spanish as PDFs, as audio files, as text pages and as ASL videos. The fact sheets were created by the campaign in consultation with APHA's Disability Section and disability experts. Check out the fact sheets, add your logo and share them in your community!