Providing Care in Sonoma, Napa, & Marin Counties
Call (707) 573-1003

National Preparedness Month: How to Prepare Bedridden Seniors

No matter where you live, there is the potential for a natural disaster to happen. Whether you are in a hurricane or tornado zone in the South or Midwest, or a high-risk area for earthquakes or wildfires, as in the West, your home is bound to encounter a disaster at some point. As a family caregiver, you are responsible for your elderly loved one’s health and well-being, including during such disasters.

Senior Care in Petaluma CA: Emergency Preparedness for Bedridden Seniors

Senior Care in Petaluma CA: Emergency Preparedness for Bedridden Seniors

September is National Preparedness Month and it is the ideal time to make plans for what to do in the event of an emergency. When your elderly loved one is bedridden, you’ll have to make some extra special arrangements. While the United States has an excellent record of responding with lots of support and help during an emergency, there are some critical days or even weeks before that help can arrive to get things somewhat back to normal. Emergency preparedness is designed to bridge the gap between the disaster and when help arrives.

Bedridden seniors are among the most vulnerable of the population when a disaster strikes because they are mostly unable to help themselves. They are dependent on family caregivers, family members, neighbors and senior care assistants.

Here are 10 tips on how to prepare bedridden seniors for an emergency.

  1. Prepare a specific plan for the possible emergencies in your area (tornado, flooding, etc.)
  2. Prepare an emergency kit with enough food and water for 3 days.
  3. Include any special dietary requirements for the elderly.
  4. Gather several flashlights and check the batteries regularly.
  5. Obtain a manual wheelchair so that you can move them in the event of an evacuation.
  6. Stock enough prescription medication to last 7 to 14 days.
  7. Prepare signs for the windows to alert rescue crews that a bedridden senior is inside.
  8. Put copies of important documents, insurance information, and medical information in the emergency kit.
  9. Coordinate with your elderly relative’s home care agency about their procedures in the event of an emergency.
  10. Become familiar with local resources for senior care services, community aide and emergency care.


It’s going to be too late to do many of these things when a disaster strikes. Sometimes you will have some warning, such as a few days for an approaching hurricane or a few minutes for a tornado or wildfire. Earthquakes can strike without much warning, and others events like gas explosions, terrorist attacks, and ice storms may catch communities by surprise. It’s always better to have a plan in place and the emergency equipment ready to go rather than be caught off guard.

With a little bit of foresight, family caregivers can put together an excellent preparedness plan that can help ease the shock and trauma for their elderly relative in the event of an emergency that might affect the neighborhood or the community.

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Petaluma, CA, call At Your Service Home Care.  Call today! (707) 573-1003




Lucy Andrews DNP, RN, MS

In 1988, after working as a clinical nurse in the University Health System at UC San Francisco, Lucy Andrews started understanding home care.

She became a discharge planner and immediately fell in love with the concept of home care and the autonomous clinical practice it affords nurses. Dr. Lucy was hooked and has been a strong supporter of home care ever since.Believing people need advocates in healthcare systems, she has championed that cause across the acute care and post-acute care setting.

Dr. Lucy has worked in every aspect of home care from Medicare Certified, DME, Infusion, Hospice and finally Private Duty/Private Pay services. She also works as a home care consultant across the country and as a legal nurse consultant for the home care industry.

Having worked in all areas of home care, Dr. Lucy has a well-rounded perspective of the challenges facing patients, families and the home care industry, and as a provider she advocates for patients through the maze of health care services. Dr. Lucy celebrated over 37 years as a nurse and patient advocate.

Dr. Lucy has a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois.In 1994, she received her Masters of Science in Health Service Administration from St. Mary's University, Moraga, California. Dr. Lucy received her Doctor of Nursing Practice awarded in 2016, graduating with Distinction and a 4.0 GPA.

She did her doctoral work on the global dementia crisis, aging and prevention strategies for healthy living. Developed dementia and Alzheimer's disease plans for aging patients leaving the hospital setting or entering long-term care or home health and hospice environments. She also developed a specialized program for those at risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

In 1992, Dr. Lucy was designated CAHSAH Certified Home Care Administrator in the inaugural offering of this designation through the California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).

She is the founder and CEO of Creative Solutions Home Care Consulting Services and At Your Service Nursing & Home Care, a concierge nursing & home care agency that provides the services she believes are essential for seniors to age in place.She offers a higher level of care allowing people to be in their own homes with an emphasis on independence, safety, and quality of life.

Dr. Lucy is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) and sits on the Board of Directors for California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).

She has served on the boards for both state and national board associations, and is currently on the following boards and committees: Board of Directors, California State Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH), 2002-present, National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC's) Private Duty Home Care Association Director, and multiple state and national home care committees.

Dr. Lucy goes to Washington, DC, several times a year to advocate for senior services and home care issues. She was past Commissioner for the Sonoma Commission on Human Rights.She is past chair of the local Senior Advocacy Services.