Finding Shelter in the Storm in Senior Living

In Florida, hurricane season is part of everyday life. Large storms can form in the Atlantic Ocean in a matter of hours.

Older adults living alone are particularly vulnerable to the dangers associated with hurricanes. Severe weather can create power outages, down trees, flood roads and empty grocery store shelves, among other stressful situations.

Senior living communities offer shelter in the storm before, during, and after a hurricane. Here’s how:

1. Safety Guidelines & Hurricane Preparedness

For senior living communities, keeping residents safe is a priority year-round, not just during hurricane season.

Senior living communities are highly skilled and trained to plan for and mitigate emergencies to protect the health and well-being of older adults. Strict infection control measures are in place to protect residents from influenza, coronavirus and any other threat to older adults. Hurricane safety and disaster preparedness falls squarely in the realm of their expertise.

With established safety guidelines and protocols in place, senior living communities are ready around the clock if and when a hurricane strikes.

2. Communications For Greater Peace of Mind

Nothing could be more worrisome than losing communications with a loved one during a dangerous storm.

Senior living communities provide families and adult children greater peace of mind by keeping families informed of important information and developments that may affect their loved ones in the path of a storm.

Sonata Senior Living uses an automated messaging service to keep families apprised of any information that may affect its residents. Families can elect to receive information via text, email or phone call.

3. Safety During Evacuation

The most powerful storms can lead to mandatory hurricane evacuations. Planning an evacuation can be both physically and emotionally draining for both young and old adults. If your loved one is disabled or requires assistance to walk, they may not be able to safely evacuate on their own.

Senior Living communities are well equipped to shelter in place during hurricanes. Buildings are constructed to withstand hurricane-force winds and flooding, and access to power generators are mandatory in the state of Florida.

4. Support During a Hurricane


For older adults in need of assistance, home care services can be interrupted when travel is too dangerous for caregivers. Hospitals and urgent care centers are not as easily accessible during a hurricane and blocked or flooded roads can make travel precarious at best.

The 24-hour nursing supervision offered at communities such as Sonata West, Sonata Hunter’s Creek and Serenades Memory Care in Central Florida ensure older adults’ needs will be met regardless of the conditions outside.

Whether your loved one is independent or needs assistance, a fully staffed senior living community will manage the sheltering or evacuation process from start to finish to ensure the safety and well-being of your loved one.

5. Supplies During a Hurricane

We’ve all seen the long gas station and grocery lines in the news media when a storm is approaching. In senior living communities like Sonata, this is never a concern or worry.
Should a power outage occur, Sonata Senior Living’s backup generators include capacity for cooking, heating and powering elevators. Team members can continue providing care and support with no interruption to service, including three meals a day.

At Sonata, more than a week’s worth of food, water and supplies are stocked for each resident to accommodate for any interruption to regularly scheduled deliveries.

Adult children with concern for an older parent on medication can rest easy knowing medication management by trained caregivers will continue before, during and after a hurricane event.

6. Stress During a Hurricane

Even the most expensive home insurance policies cannot remove the worry associated with hurricane destruction.

The scarcity of gas and groceries combined with post-disaster repairs such as yard clean-up and roof damage often prove too stressful or too much work for older adults.

Due to the service-oriented nature of senior living, residents of independent and assisted living communities can forego the worry of home maintenance and repairs for a carefree retirement lifestyle.

Senior living communities such as Sonata include the vast majority of home maintenance and management services in monthly rent, including utilities, laundry service, personal care, activities and meal preparation.

7. Short-Term Stay For Long-Term Safety

Many older adults who live alone are not prepared or able to protect themselves or their homes from a hurricane. A short-term stay, or “respite care,” is a temporary stay at a senior living community and offers a safety net during a hurricane.

A short-term stay is ideal for older adults who need some assistance and cannot easily obtain the essential supplies or support they need during hurricane season.

For more information about hurricane safety or respite care at Sonata Senior Living, contact a community near you today to schedule a virtual tour →

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