A new guide has been developed for carers of people with dementia to help them prepare and stay safe during a natural disaster.

The resource from the Queensland University of Technology’s Dementia Collaborative Research Centre: Carers and Consumers was developed in partnership with Red Cross and with input from carers.

The guide takes into account the specific challenges carers of people with dementia face when a natural disaster strikes.

Lead researcher Dr Linda Schnitker from QUT’s School of Nursing said more effort was needed to help prepare people with dementia and their carers living in the community for a potential disaster or local emergency such a bushfire, flood or cyclone.

Dr Schnitker said planning ahead was critical and could include taking steps such as asking a respite centre about their emergency and evacuation plans.

“The guide has three colour-coded sections with relevant dementia-specific advice covering preparing for a natural disaster, what to do during one – whether you stay at home, evacuate or the person becomes agitated or lost – and tips for the aftermath including returning home and how to access psychological support.”

Red Cross state manager for emergency services Collin Sivalingum said emergencies can be distressing but being prepared helps make responding to these events less stressful.

The guide can also be used in conjunction with the Red Cross RediPlan resource and new Get Prepared app.

Download the Carer Ready Guide here.

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