Jane would never forget the phone call she received that cold December morning. It was still dark when her phone rang, and for a moment she was disoriented. It had rung multiple times before she was finally able to pick up the phone and answered. The voice on the other end of the line was frantic. It was one of the administrators at the assisted living facility where her mother and father were living. Jane couldn’t quite understand what he was saying and asked him to calm down before repeating himself. The administrator took a breath, slowed his voice and repeated what he had said: the assisted living facility was on fire.
The next hour was a blur for Jane. She shook her husband awake and they dressed as fast as they could, jumping into the car and driving across town to the assisted living facility. When they arrived, the flames were still not fully under control. Half of the building was completely destroyed, and the flames were moving rapidly through the rest of the building. Jane ran towards the site, startled to see the parking lot filled with confused family members, frightened seniors in little more than their pajamas and wrapped in blankets, and emergency workers milling around, attempting to gain control. Eventually, Jane found the administrator who had called her and demanded to know where her parents were. Both, she was told, had been transferred to the emergency room at the hospital a block away.
When Jane arrived at the hospital she found in even more chaotic scene than the parking lot. Families were being ushered through makeshift sign in stations where they were asked their family member’s name and then directed to another station, and then to another before finally being brought to the room with her loved one waited. Jane was incredibly relieved to discover that neither of her parents had been injured in any way, but had been moved to the emergency room for observation due to her father’s heart condition.
After discovering the both her parents were safe and healthy, Jane turned her focus on putting their lives back together. They had no home to return to, and the vast majority of their belongings have been destroyed. It was obvious that the only option was to bring them into her own home. Jane immediately contacted the senior care referral services in her area to find support and advice.
Any type of home emergency involving seniors, whether it is in their independent home, assisted living facility or skilled nursing center, can be incredibly frightening for a family care provider. Senior care during these emergency times must focus on health and safety first, then gradually move on to reestablishing normalcy. Never hesitate to seek out help and support when facing such difficult times.
Care Connection provides senior care in Lansing, MI. For more information about our caregiver services, please call us today at (517) 489-2489.