A pink emergency radio for the Sandwich Generation dealing with the issues of caring for the elderly parents and babysitting the grandchildren

Safety Preparedness For the Sandwich Generation Issues

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Daily Living Made Easier

It’s been an extra tough week for so many in the world. Japan is reeling from the earthquake and the tsunami – and the news is something all of us boomers and seniors are watching extra close this week – particularly those of us in the Sandwich Generation with family members, young and old, who might be in the path of any radiation.

The New York Times is a great resource for baby boomer and senior citizen news - and it comes to your iPhone with the Kindle app

Of course, it doesn’t take a national emergency to bring sorrow to our lives. In Pennsylvania, there are parents and grandparents mourning deeply over the deaths of 7 children in a fire. I have been praying for that family and was personally struck by the father’s words. He commented that they did have smoke detectors, but he wasn’t sure his young children would have known what to do if they heard them. Their mom was there – just in another building right next to the property.

And, in the last three weeks, more than one city has been devastated by tornadoes! It definitely doesn’t take much time for an emergency to strike, and it can happen to anyone at any time. Those of us who are active, even if we are senior citizens, can deal with these reasonably well, but our elderly parents and young grandchildren may not be able to.

All of these combined gave me a good reminder that I need to be even more proactive about talking through emergency procedures with my senior mom and my grandchildren. I know they are hearing about it from their parents, but it can almost never be repeated too many times! I realized that when we first started in with our Lent and Easter activities and I pulled out their Resurrection Easter eggs.

One of our Easter traditions with the grandchildren is Resurrection Easter Eggs

As much as we used the Resurrection Easter Eggs, and retold the story with them over the last few years, the first time we did it this year, they had forgotten so much! It is definitely vital to make safety rules a recurring topic for the whole Sandwich Generation family. 

I’ve decided I need to:

  1. Check with my long distance senior parents and make sure all my contact information for their nearby neighbors and pastors are correct in case I need to get in touch with them in an emergency and their phone isn’t working.
  2. Check all the batteries in the smoke detectors – even after I reminded others, I ended up forgetting the time change AND the battery check this spring.
  3. Print out and practice some basic safety tips with my grandkids like “Stop, Drop and Roll.” Plus go over emergency procedures in case of a fire, a tornado, or other emergency in my area. I also need to talk about what they should do if a parent or grandparent collapses and THEY have to call 911. And it’s not just us boomers and seniors that can happen to. I remember 20 years ago, a 34 year old friend collapsed from an aneurysm and a 37 year old father died from a heart attack! 
  4. It’s also a good time to check the fire extinguisher and make sure it is full, plus make sure we know where the water turn-offs are for the house.
  5. I don’t have a fancy first-aid kit, but I do have a plastic tote with thermometer, bandaids, and bacitracin, so I’m OK there.
  6. I need to check my flashlights and my senior mom’s absolute favorite radio of all times, her Grundig FR200 portable emergency radio, to make sure they have batteries AND stock up on the right size of batteries.

My senior mom loves her grundig radio for day to day listening and I appreciate it for its emergency capability

Now it’s your turn. Can you think of any other safety tips for all of us in the Sandwich Generation, dealing with the issues of caring for the elderly parents in our family, along with babysitting grandchildren? We’d love to hear more ideas and suggestions.



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  1. Kaye, great ideas! Thank you for sharing them. I had also not thought about the batteries in my smoke detectors, and I do try to do that when the time changes. Thanks for that reminder. How sad that 7 children were killed in a fire. My heart breaks for that family. You’ve also reminded me to ask my grands if they still have tornado drills at school. My children had them at school, and if they heard the tornado siren, they started yelling instructions at me!! Thank you for linking this important post to Favorite Things. laurie

  2. Hi Laurie, Thank you 🙂 And now, thank you for a great reminder. I’m actually headed out for a day of babysitting grandchildren. I’m adding those drills to my list TODAY! 🙂

  3. Kaye – thanks so much for the tips. I have a safety post scheduled down the line too. I guess with the latest crisis in Japan caused us to really review our procedures!

  4. Boy, Paula, isn’t that the truth! My grandkids and I practiced Stop, Drop, and Roll the other day. Two of them remembered it, but one didn’t so I was really glad! Gotta practice 911 too! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Lee
    • March 26, 2011

    Kaye, this was a great post – lots of good ideas and resources! It helped me plan some steps I can take when I visit my mother and grandmother next month to help make sure they’re well-prepared. I wrote a quick post about it on my new blog, Surviving the Sandwich Years (http://goo.gl/QlgPZ).

  5. Hi Lee, Thank you 🙂 I enjoyed reading your post as well! Have a lovely visit! 🙂

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