SEATTLE, May 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With an increase in severe weather over the past several years, A Place for Mom®, the nation's largest senior living referral service, has learned that these events have become a major catalyst for senior housing transitions in the United States. As the 2013 hurricane season approaches, A Place for Mom has released data from more than 1,700 seniors and families that contacted the service following major storms. The data revealed an increase in inquiries ranging from 11 percent to 90 percent for senior living and care communities in the two week period following storms Hurricane Sandy (2012), Hurricane Ike (2008) and Hurricane Katrina (2005).
A Place for Mom tracked the following increases in the second week after each storm:
- Hurricane Sandy: 18 percent increase
- Hurricane Ike: 11 percent increase
- Hurricane Katrina: 91 percent increase
Inquiries for help with finding senior care and housing spiked a dramatic 91 percent after Hurricane Katrina, which hit landfall on the US coast three times and has been described by the NOAA's National Climatic Data Center as "one of the strongest storms to impact the coast of the United States during the last 100 years."
The most recent example of nature's brute force happened earlier this week when a tornado touched down in central Oklahoma with winds exceeding 200 miles per hour. The devastation caused by the tornado's 17-mile track has been tragic and, as reported by Reuters, has affected an estimated 33,000 people, including children, seniors and their caregivers. In line with post-storm data trends, A Place for Mom is expecting an increase in calls over the next two weeks from Oklahoma families seeking help for aging loved ones.
"Seniors are among the hardest hit populations when disaster strikes," said Sean Kell, CEO of A Place for Mom. "Safety during unpredictable weather catastrophes is becoming an increasing concern, and many caregivers are seeking senior communities for a loved one that offer the security of emergency response plans along with needed amenities and services in the wake of bad storms. In times of crisis, our Senior Living Advisors serve as a needed and welcome resource for families who may be seeking counsel and senior housing options during a period of uncertainty and transition."
Senior Living Community Support
In addition to emergency response plans, many senior living and care communities practice disaster preparedness, offering comfort through what is often a stressful situation and ensuring that seniors maintain access to food, water, shelter and necessary care. Support is provided in the event of power outages and evacuations, and services for storm cleanup, like shoveling snow or picking up fallen tree limbs, are offered. Senior living and care communities can also provide seniors with a sense of community during an unknown event. More information on senior living and care communities can be found at www.aplaceformom.com.
Preparing for Hurricane Season
Hurricane season runs for six months of the year, beginning on June 1 for the Atlantic region. Before each season begins, an increasing number of seniors and their families are taking extra precautionary steps to ensure safety, as well as getting paperwork ready for a temporary respite care stay at an assisted living community, in the event such a stay is needed. Others precautionary steps include creating a hurricane preparedness plan, planning for worst-case scenarios, learning what to do when an advisory is issued, and also practicing the plan in place. A Place for Mom has a complete guide to preparing for hurricane season on its website.
About A Place for Mom
A Place for Mom, Inc. (APFM) is the nation's largest senior living referral service providing resources and personalized assistance in finding senior living services. Using its nationwide network of more than 18,000 providers, APFM helps families find options based on a loved one's stated needs, preferences and budget. This may include independent senior housing, home care, residential care homes, assisted living communities and specialized Alzheimer's memory care. The service is offered at no charge to families as providers pay a fee to APFM. For more information, visit www.aplaceformom.com, call 1-877-311-6099 or visit one of APFM's social networks at Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Senior Living Blog and Pinterest.
SOURCE A Place for Mom