Prepping for Older People and Those with Health Issues

Many people are beginning to wake up to the fact that things are not right or normal in our world any longer. They see the writing on the wall and know they need to make some preparations for the difficult times ahead. Older people are no exception, especially since they have the experience of a previous depression.

Things are different now, they no longer live in a rural setting or have resources they previously did, and many are overwhelmed with the logistics of how to prepare at this stage in their lives. Overall, preppers tend to be young, healthy, viable and ready to take on anything. But what about prepping for those who are older, those who have health concerns and or the ones that can’t do it all themselves?

My son, one of our crucial defenders in our group, is a Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetic and after his 6 months’ supply of insulin is gone (about all it is possible to stockpile) it is questionable what will happen. I wrote to Dr. Bones (Doom & Bloom) and he is in the same position with his son and says it doesn’t look good for those who are insulin dependent. We’re planning for barter, stocking silver to use in the black-market or an underground economy. I also have to consider my mother who is Type 2 (insulin-resistant) diabetic and not in good health in other ways.

I was asked by friends just the other day how to begin preparing and I suggested that they begin by making a list of everything that they use in a week and then think about what they will do when it is no longer possible to run down to the store for more. The list will contain medications, toilet paper, food, water, cooking, sanitation, hygiene and transportation – the prep list as we all know is endless! But I encouraged them to start small, which will help them eventually wrap their mind around the enormity of the situation. After making their list, I suggest they begin with purchasing and setting aside items for 72 hours, and then continue preparing for two weeks, one month, three months etc. as well as preparing a skedaddle bag to grab if they need to leave their house.

Along with basic necessities, safety and security will be a huge consideration for all, especially older, more vulnerable people, as there will be those wanting to take whatever they can from anyone. So I mentioned that they think of what to do when the basic services of police, fire and hospital are no longer available. I suggested that they take a gun class and a self-defense course. I also discussed getting mace along with a gun and ammunition if they are comfortable with this, learn evasion tactics, and secure their home against possible invasion. Next to consider what they will do when it is no longer safe to stay in their home.

Unfortunately many older people will find it difficult if not impossible to prepare alone, and I believe that working together with like-minded individuals or a family group is going to be critical to survival for older people as well as the rest of us. We would be more than willing to welcome into our group a prepared person who could help with storing up supplies and planning, who would prepare to bug out to our location and then help out once there. But instead I find myself preparing for elderly relatives who scorn my plans now and will be of little help if they are able to get to our location.

If you are prepping for elderly people in your group or helping an older person prepare, consider these areas:

Health – Stock up on critical medications and make plans for refrigeration if necessary – FRIO packs keep medications cool for 72 hours and can be reactivated using only water. Investigate lifestyle changes that can make many medications unnecessary. Learning about herbal preparations that you can grow and make yourself is a valuable craft. Learn about wound care and prevention – foot care for diabetics is critical – have the basic supplies to treat bedsores, blisters and wounds before they develop into a serious, life threatening infection. First and foremost, improving your health is the best way to prepare!

Sanitation – They may not be able to get to the outhouse, so a bedside commode will be necessary. Either stock up on incontinence supplies or plan to have a large supply of old sheets and towels and a way to wash and sanitize these with bleach. Clay cat litter, lime and wood ashes all help absorb waste odors.

Equipment – Obtain necessary equipment such as cane, walker or crutches, items handy to have around just in case. Install grab bars where needed. Obtain pans for bathing, water pitchers, plenty of plastic sheets or tarps to protect beds and the surrounding areas, a bedpan or bedside commode, etc. Many of these items can be found at thrift stores.

Nutrition – They may need soft foods, nutritional drinks, vitamins and possibly dietary fiber.

Safety – Plan and include them in the safety drills and preparation, educate them on where to go and what to do to stay out of the way during an invasion or attack. They can also reload gun clips and in some cases provide back-up fire power while sitting at a window.

Death – As difficult as it is to think about, there will be a huge loss of life and we have to mentally prepare for this. The chronically ill and the elderly will succumb first. The lack of basic necessities, let alone shortage of comforts, running out of medication and lack of health care, predators and severe conditions will make survival difficult for all and impossible for many.

When death does occur, wrap the body in a sheet and bury as soon as possible in a hole no less than 5 feet deep, high calcium hydrated lime will keep the smell down and aid decomposition, put rocks on top of the body to prevent wild animals from getting into the grave site, and fill with dirt, mounding for future settling, and disguise the area with brush and rocks.

There is no doubt that challenging times are ahead of us, and it is possible for an older person to prepare, but the chance of survival is much better if they can do it in a group situation. It’s also important to remember that mental preparedness is as important as physical, and your attitude is everything!


20 survival items ebook cover

Like what you read?

Then you're gonna love my free PDF, 20 common survival items, 20 uncommon survival uses for each. That's 400 total uses for these innocent little items!

Just enter your primary e-mail below to get your link:

We will not spam you.

6 thoughts on “Prepping for Older People and Those with Health Issues”

  1. Excellent article! Gives a great boost on where to start thinking about taking care of our elderly (and ourselves as we get older). Thanks much, I will be taking some of your avdice on how to handle some elderly issues in a SHTF situation.

  2. (note: an official Old Guy at 59)

    Canes and crutches, etc are not just good good preps for us “old folks”. You need them, stored, regardless of age. Yes, you. Stuff happens to everyone.

    When I was in college, at the age of 20, I made the IDIOT_MISTAKE of pushing a ’61 Impala 1.5 miles to a service station. (cell phone? what’s a cell phone in 1973?) . Fine until the next day.. About 3 days later I could get out of bed with help, and walked with a cane for the next 8 months. It happens.

    You, or a group member might do something dumb, like that. A random accident might happen. Those Airsplints, ace bandages, old newspapers, boards, etc get you home, where, hopefully a trained EMT or physician can do some fixing on the injury. It’s not a D&D game, where a Healer can fix you up immediately by Magic. If you get messed-up, you’re going to stay at-least-somewhat-messed-up for a quite a while. Prepare for it.

    • Ken –

      You are very correct. I bought a pair of crutches a few months ago because you just never know.

      Thanks – Rourke

  3. Happy you found it helpful Bruce.
    The new site – – will soon have more information.
    Stay in touch there and share what you are learning!

  4. You said “When death does occur, wrap the body in a sheet and bury as soon as possible in a hole no less than 5 feet deep, high calcium hydrated lime will keep the smell down and aid decomposition, put rocks on top of the body to prevent wild animals from getting into the grave site, and fill with dirt, mounding for future settling, and disguise the area with brush and rocks.”
    I’m 79, wife is 78. Death could arrive soon. BUT, your burial advice won’t work many places I’ve lived. One place was reclaimed swamp land with a very hight water table (inches in the rainy season). Another place was very sandy – a hole 5 ft deep would have to be 15 feet wide. I now live where you hit rock only a few inches down. Holes more than a foot or two require a back hoe or blasting. But we have plenty of brush and other woody material. Cremation would be the logical answer during the raining season. During the dry season dig a shallow hole, scrape dirt from other areas to cover the body and then cover with brush to keep out critters. Then when the rainy season comes burn the brush. Then cover the grave again with more brush and burn again. I’ve done this many times with large dead animals. Works good.

    Hangtown Frank


Leave a Comment