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How can I help older family members?
My 80-year-old grandmother lives by herself 2 hours away from me. I only get to see her a couple times a month but I want to make sure she'll be ok if there's an earthquake or something. What are some precautions I could take to help her?
I know this might sound a little silly but I just read this article about a Japanese company that has developed a personal airbag product. It's designed to deploy if a person has a fall and supposedly will help prevent injury. Maybe they'll bring them over here someday! Link
You can help put together a preparedness kit and like Kiki says, making friends with a few neighbors who can check in on her would be a good idea. Exchange numbers and/or email addresses with them, so you can communicate in the event of an emergency.
Perhaps the next time you visit, you can make sure she's aware of what to do in case of a natural disaster. You could even make her a cheat sheet of numbers to call in case of emergency, and let her know where to go for help. If her area is prone to earthquakes, you can make sure furniture is secure (large bookcases, etc are bolted to the wall). Is there a neighbor you can count on to be a point of contact and check in on your grandmother in an event like that?