For hurricanes or home health care, planning is essential

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Here they come again, the same old hurricane preparedness tips.

This year, sure as fire, the Atlantic hurricane season began its typical heat-up in August.

It was Aug. 24 when The Weather Channel meteorologists latched onto a prospective tropical storm, an embryo not yet worthy of a human namesake. The experts called it Invest 97.

And along with the tentative forecast of where it might head or when it might turn into a tropical storm or hurricane, came the first to-do list.

Sure, you've heard it before. But you likely didn't mind hearing it again and took a mental note.

The baby storm came with this baby to-do list: Being "hurricane ready" means having enough water, which is one gallon for each person each day. It means having a supply of non-perishable foods ready for evacuation.

It means having a seven-day supply of medications.

And it means reviewing your evacuation route.

It's okay to rehash the tips because they're important reminders and advice.

The same applies to caregiving and making decisions when seniors need assistance with daily living and health care.

Until you or a loved one come face to face with situations calling for outside help, or at least advice, to deal with the infirmities of aging or illness, you might not focus on such particulars.

But when the warnings approach, like thunder before a storm, you'll want to hear from experts in the caregiving and health-care fields.

I say this as I re-establish my monthly column in The Bluffton Sun and The Hilton Head Sun with a focus on elder care and home health care.

It's a wonderful way to reach out to our community and share knowledge gained through more than 10 years as co-owner and administrator of a local home-care company, along with insights gained with our expansion into the companion field of home health care.

I'll be writing on such topics as signals that home care or health services might be needed, preventing caregiver burnout, dementia warning signs, Alzheimer's and the holidays - or tips for seniors to prepare for a hurricane evacuation.

If you have a topic you'd like to know more about, or questions about home care or health care that a column could address, please feel free to contact me by email at debbie@homehelperslowcountry.com.

Until next month, take good care of yourself and your loved ones. That includes planning and precaution steps.

Debbie Morris, MA, EDs, is CEO of Home Helpers Home Care and Home Health and certified by the National Academy of Certified Care Managers. help@homehelperslowcountry.com; www.inhomecarelowcountry.com

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