Does Your Elderly Relative Have a Fire Escape Plan?

If your aging relative noticed a fire in their home, would they know what to do to escape? When it is a real emergency, many seniors are not sure how they would escape the home, especially if they are physically or cognitively limited in what they can do. It’s a good idea to create a senior fire escape plan with your elderly loved one that is specific to their needs. Then, share it with others like home care providers and other family members.

Home Care in Rockford MI: Creating a Fire Escape Plan

Home Care in Rockford MI: Creating a Fire Escape Plan

Step 1: Plan Two Escape Routes.

In an emergency, people are frightened and may panic when it comes to evacuating. Having an established escape route, as well as a backup, helps them remember what to do and get out safely. Work with your aging relative on two escape routes and make sure they can get themselves out.

Step 2: Install Early Warning Systems.

Most people know about smoke detectors, but frequently forget to test them regularly or change out the batteries. You can give your elderly loved one precious minutes to escape when smoke alarms do their job. For seniors who are hard of hearing, there are smoke detectors that vibrate or turn on strobe lights.

Step 3: Adapt the Escape to the Senior’s Abilities.

Just establishing two escape routes isn’t enough if your aging relative cannot get themselves out of the house. Take a good look at your elderly loved one’s abilities and make any adjustments. For example, if one of the escape routes is through a bedroom window, make sure your loved one knows how to open the locked window and can get themselves through it. Another example is to always keep a spare cane by the bed, window, or the bedroom door to assist with mobility in an emergency.

Step 4: Designate a Meeting Place.

Once your aging adult escapes, they need to know how to signal others that they are safe. Most people choose a designated meeting space to rendezvous at. It can be a neighbor’s driveway, street sign, or nearby building. In the event of an emergency you can go to the meeting spot and determine whether your elderly relative is there or still inside.

Step 5: Review and Practice.

Creating a fire escape plan is extremely important but it does no good if it is forgotten after a few weeks. You should review the escape plan and any fire safety tips with your aging loved one, other family members, and home care providers regularly. The better prepared that you and your family are when it comes to a household emergency, the faster everyone can react and the less likely it will be that there is injury or worse. If your elderly relative doesn’t have a fire escape plan currently, it’s never too late to start.

If you or someone you know needs help with home care in Rockford, MI, contact Gauthier Family Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services in our community. Call us at (616) 258-2300 for more information.



About Dan Gauthier

Dan Gauthier has a long and successful business pedigree. He spent his college years working in the restaurant business and worked in various executive management positions at Universal Forest Products, Inc. over a span of 17 years, and Therm Technology / Family Safety Products for 12 years.

When the recession hit in 2008 Dan was “downsized” from UFP and spent a few years consulting for local companies Amway and Cascade Engineering. During this period Dan’s in-laws were experiencing catastrophic health problems and it required Dan’s wife Marion to focus full time on caregiving for her mother. Marion enlisted help from a local home care agency and it did not go well. This experience led to the creation of Gauthier Family Home Care, a home care agency that is uniquely holistic and family centric. Dan now works full time running GFHC.