September is National Preparedness Month, and Bristol Elder Services (Bristol) has teamed up with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Ready.gov to encourage our constituents and their families to prepare for severe weather, national disasters, or other emergency events.
Plan now. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes so it is important to plan in advance: how you will get to a safe place; how you will contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations. Read more about Family Communication during an emergency.
You should also inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time. Talk to community leaders, councils on aging, neighbors, and members of faith and civic organizations about how you can work together in the event of an emergency if you think ahead and communicate with others in advance. For more information, read Ready.gov’s Preparing Makes Sense For Older Americans.
In addition, Bristol gathers information about elders living in greater Attleboro, Fall River, and Taunton area communities to help public safety officials assist them in an emergency. Please consider filling out and mailing a Special Needs Referral Form to Bristol to help emergency personnel quickly identify that you may need aid in the event of an emergency requiring evacuation (i.e., fire, hurricane, blizzard, flood, and/or significant power outages.) Once we receive the completed form, we will forward it on your behalf to your local Office of Emergency Management and to the Council on Aging, if you so choose. Completion of the form does not guarantee help in the event of an emergency.
The Importance of Hydration
It’s important for your body to have plenty of fluids each day. Water helps you digest food, absorb nutrients from food, and then get rid of the unused waste. Water is found in foods—both solids and liquids, as well as in its natural state.
With age, some people may lose their sense of thirst, so don’t wait until you are thirsty to have water. To further complicate matters, some medicines might make it even more important to have plenty of fluids. Drinking enough fluids every day also is essential if you exercise regularly.
How much fluid is needed: Most individuals over the age of 60 need six to eight cups or 32 to 48 ounces of fluid per day. You may need more in the summer or if you participate in physical activity that causes sweating. *Check with your doctor, however, if you’ve been told to limit what you drink.
Common signs of dehydration: Dry mouth, thirst, constipation, decreased urination or dark colored urine, headache, dry skin, fatigue, chills, and dizziness.
Tips to drinking enough fluids:
- Carry a water bottle with you when you go out
- Put sticky notes on your refrigerator door and bathroom mirror as reminders saying “drink a glass of water”
- When you take pills, drink a whole glass of water not just a few sips
- Take sips of water in between bites of food during a meal
- If you drink soda or juice, mix half of the glass with water to cut calories and add fluids
- Include one to two cups of low-fat milk to your daily routine (8 ounces of 2% or 1% milk contains 7 ounces of water)
- Try adding fruit to water or seltzer water to add flavor
- Keep a glass of water at your bedside
Limit beverages that are high in calories including soda, juice, alcohol, and any sugar containing beverages.
Foods with the most fluid:
- Broth based soups: Look for less than 300mg of sodium per serving
- Fruit: Apples, apple sauce, peaches, pineapple, watermelon, plums, oranges, melon
- Vegetables: Carrots, lettuce, bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, broccoli, celery, tomatoes
- Cereal: Hot, made with milk or water and cold, made with milk
- Desserts: Low fat ice cream, sorbet, pudding, popsicles, yogurt