After Maryland was hit with heavy snowfall last Thursday, WYPR’s Maryland Morning looked into the question: how do our older neighbors plan for and deal with this kind of weather? Sheilah Kast, the program’s host, spoke with Erickson School Dean Judah Ronch about tips and suggestions for helping elders during snowstorms.
Ronch discussed how elders can be vulnerable when they lose power and heat in their homes during storms, which can make them more susceptible to injury, cause them to become disoriented and it can even spoil food which can lead to lack of nutrition.
“That affects both body and mind. Their thinking gets to be a little less clear, and they may make decisions which really aren’t typical of what they can do,” Ronch said.
Ronch added you can help elders by creating a buddy system and forming relationships before storms and emergencies happen. He said having a plan in place and making sure the person has everything they need in advance can go a long way.
“Having a checklist of what the person needs, for example, do you have enough food, do you have enough water, do you have all the medications you would need for let’s say a four to five-day period?” Ronch said. “I think those who are checking in on older adults should check in before, during and after the event.”
You can listen to the full interview on WYPR here.