Tuesday, 28 July 2015 16:54

Humana's Dr. Lana Trunk talks hurricanes tips for elderly, chronic health problems

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katrina-prepareThe 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is approaching which will remind millions of one of the worst natural and man-made disasters in American history.  For the most part, hopefully, that killer-storm nightmare is behind all of us.  However, the anniversary should also be a reminder that families should not only prepare for themselves but for those who might be in special need-- senior citizens and people with chronic health conditions.  They are particularly susceptible to higher risks, in the event of a hurricane evacuation.

 In a recent Bayoubuzz.com Google Hangout interview, publisher Stephen Sabludowsky and Dr. Laura Trunk, Humana’s Louisiana Chief Medical Officer, discussed the scars of Hurricane Katrina, lessons learned and how all families should prepare for another tropical event, whether it be another once-in-a-lifetime event or smaller rain and wind storm.  The focus of the interview was how seniors and people with chronic health conditions are particularly susceptible to higher risks, in the event of a hurricane evacuation. 

Watch the video to learn more

Additionally, Humana  will host a hurricane preparedness class for senior members on Tuesday, Aug. 11 from10 - 11 a.m., at the Humana Guidance Center in Baton Rouge (10330 Airline Hwy., Baton Rouge.) Dr. Trunk will be one of the presenters at that event.  The program will cover important health information about being prepared in the event of a hurricane/weather evacuation.

Last, below are hurricane preparation tips from Humana which Dr. Trunk discussed in the interview:

With the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season starting June 1, Humana encourages people to take steps now to help ensure they can maintain good health in the event of a hurricane or evacuation.

Humana's Dr. Lana Trunk talks hurricanes tips for elderly, chronic health problemsHumana's Dr. Lana Trunk talks hurricanes tips for elderly, chronic health problems

Hurricanes, specifically in the event of an evacuation, pose a higher risk to seniors, residents with mobility issues and/or chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, asthma or cardiovascular disease, and those who take prescription medications regularly.

Coastal residents may find themselves away from their homes for an uncertain length of time – or stuck in their homes, while local businesses, including pharmacies and doctors’ offices, are closed.

Be prepared! Humana urges residents to remember to PICK IT UP!

P – Prepare – Be aware of an impending storm and do not take evacuation orders lightly.

I – Information – Know your local hurricane escape route and how to access it from multiple areas. Also, keep an information list about your medical conditions and medications needed. Keep this information in mind:

*Utilize 30- to 90-day prescription home delivery service from your health benefits provider to ensure you don’t run out of medicine while you are away or while businesses are closed. Mail-order pharmacy also often provides a cost savings for consumers.

*If you’re dependent on breathing machines, oxygen or heart pumps, for instance, your storm plan should include obtaining a supply of essential medications; preparing for on-the-road nursing aid; and, making arrangements to continue medical treatments away from home for an extended period.

*Keep your health insurance and Medicare cards in an easily accessible place, such as your wallet. If you can’t find them, order replacement cards now.

*·       Write down and save your insurance carrier’s 24-hour, toll- free hotline for help finding the nearest hospital, ER, physician or pharmacy. Many health insurers, including Humana, now also offer free mobile apps to help you quickly find a doctor, hospital or pharmacy wherever you are.

*       Check your health benefits provider’s website for useful tips, resources and information, such as a personal health finance and benefits statement or electronic medical records.

C – Communication – Keep in touch with friends and family to avoid excessive worry and to maintain safety. Keep a contact list for others to use on your behalf if necessary.

KIT- Emergency Kit – Prepare your emergency kit now! Don’t wait until it’s too late. An emergency kit should include:

    • Water
    • Non-perishable food
    • 30-day supply of medications
    • Health insurance/Medicare ID cards

*Medical equipment: Canes, walkers, eyeglasses, hearing aids and batteries/chargers

*Emergency Alert tags

    • Battery or hand crank radio with extra batteries
    • Flashlight with extra batteries,
    • First aid kit,
    • Whistle,
    • Dust mask,
    • Hand wipes, hand sanitizer, toilet tissue, incontinence items,
    • Wrench to turn off utilities,
    • Manual can opener for food,
    • Local maps and
    • Cell phone with chargers or solar charger.

U – Urgency – When an evacuation order is given, take the order seriously and leave the area as soon as possible.

P – Plan for your return - Post-hurricane and/or evacuation:

*·Seek medical attention for wounds or injuries immediately – do not wait for the problem to go away – it will only worsen and cost more in the long run.

*Don’t neglect your mental and emotional health.  If you experience stress or depression after a hurricane, seek professional help right away to address the issues.

Bayoubuzz Staff

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