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Emergency Preparedness Plan: Sensory Considerations

This week in our series, we will discuss the importance sensory considerations. In last week’s post, we talked about Infection Control.  

Sensory Considerations

The first thing you might be thinking is what are sensory considerations? Well, if you have an aging parent, aging loved one, or a neurological divergent loved one (with autism or even dementia) you may have to consider how to prepare for their heightened or lack of sensory skills.

Lack of Sensory Skills

If your loved one is in a later stage of dementia it is possible that they have a reduced sense of smell, hearing loss, and maybe even vision loss. If any of these are true, then take some time now to consider what you can do to prepare ahead of time. Perhaps you ensure they have their hearing aides or their glasses. Maybe you inspect their food if you eat at a shelter to make sure it smells okay, since they are unable to do so.

If your loved one has peripheral vision challenges, and you are in a new environment during the emergency, they may trip easier or might be startled if someone approaches them from the side or the back. If you have specific things related to sensory issues you want to remember, you can document these in your emergency preparedness plan.

Heightened Sensory Skills

If you have a child on the autism spectrum, you might have to consider how you want to handle heightened sensory skills. Your child may have a sensitivity to sound, so make sure to keep headphones in your emergency kit. If your child is sensitive to light, store a pair of their favorite sunglasses in your kit. Maybe they are sensitive to smell, you can keep cotton balls and your favorite essential oil in your kit to allow them to smell if they are agitated. There are other senses and things to consider, but each person is unique in their sensory skills. So make sure to brainstorm what you want to do to help your loved one and document it so others can also help them in an emergency.

“This week’s action step: identify any sensory considerations and prepare an intervention for them.” #EmergencyPreparedness

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Coming Up…

The intent of this series is to educate and connect you with the resources and tools needed in an emergency. This is the last blog post in the series – but keep coming back for more helpful tips and tricks for aiding you and your loved ones.

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All emergency planning details are adapted from Emergency Preparedness Plan.  MindLight CEO is a contributing author.

You can also read more about the Author, Laura George, the Workbook and Support Group in App.

Disclaimer: This Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have.

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