Survival Advice For Seniors

I’ve not been long in subscription here, maybe a month, but I’ve not come across information to specifically address the older population. Yeh! I have been preparing right along for years, but never giving it much serious thought until recently, especially the way current affairs are going.

I own my home and 13 acres of wood lot (which my home is on). My garden is small (20X30) which is difficult to get enough to grow in since there tends to be a lot of shade. I’m off topic. I would like some reference to senior citizen needs, which I am not even sure of, when it comes to surviving. If I don’t have to feed my kids, and grandkids(4) my wife and I could make it easily for a year.

I’m really not sure how to ask this question for senior citizens, or some of us who experience physical disability, but I believe you have the capacity and resource on how to address issues for seniors. I would really appreciate it.

P.S. Your Berkey water thingy is cool, especially the homemade version, but are there other ways to purify water.

Glock 27

As a survivalist in my late 30’s I haven’t had to face it personally – yet. So I can only speak from my experience talking to older survivalist over the years.

I think health and mental stability are far more important than a survivors age. Having a few extra years may ever be an advantage, if we consider real world experience.

I know one survivor in his mid-sixties that can out run me any day of the week (and I’m fairly fast) the guy works out five days per week on average and he is in top physical and mental condition. For him age isn’t an issue.

My advice to any survivor regardless of age is to start an exercise program (after a physical exam) and eat a healthy diet. Keep learning, never let the brain idle. Don’t smoke. Include foods and supplements high in omega-3, omega-6 and DHA in your diet. Work on flexibility and strength.

Always, consult with your doctor before starting an excercise program.

As for purify water, yes there are other ways besides useing a Berkey Filter – please read this post, this one, this one and this one

-M.D. Creekmore

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. I’d suggest Carol Deppe’s book “The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times” Carol is a senior and her book’s approach is how to grow a garden when times are tough, or if you aren’t physically able to tend it constantly, such as due to health problems. She also gives tips on garden layout and tool usage for seniors that enables them to work with less strain. The book is great in its detail on planting, harvesting, storage and seed saving. Well worth the money, in my opinion.

  2. AZGuy,

    + 1 on The Resilient Gardener

  3. I highly recommend that seniors rely on their younger family members if at all possible. The work required to survive will be very, very physical. We are in our mid-40’s and I’m even concerned about the toll it will take on us. Luckily we’ve got teenagers who are strong and have lots of stamina.

    If it does hit the fan, ask your family to come live with you. They can cut the wood, tend to the garden, etc. Just make sure they bring food and/or you have enough stored to handle the extra mouths to feed.

    Talk to them about it now so that you are all prepared.

    • Regarding water. We’ve got a Katadyn Pocket. Ceramic filter. Lifetime warranty. Filters up to 13,000 gallons if you keep it cleaned up regularly. I like it because it is portable in case you need to bug out. There’a video of it here – just click where it says video.

      We plan to build a pre-filter type system using a bucket with sand, etc but haven’t gotten around to it. I think that by pre-filtering the water, our katadyne will last longer.

      I read somewhere that you should not use water that comes off of your roof/out of your gutters because of chemicals in the shingles. Has anyone else heard that?

      • OhioPrepper says:

        It depends a little on what your roof covering is made from. Shingles typically have some sort of antifungal additive, but I think that it’s generally copper based. I think you should be more worried about the crap (in the case of birds, quite literally) that collects on a roof. Most systems I’ve seen for roof collection will have some sort of pre-filter, and the better ones will allow the first bunch of water to simply run down the drain, getting most of the crap and oxidation out of the collected water. Any good filter like the Katadyn should remove enough of the contaminants to make the water potable, but draining and pre-filtering will extend the usable life of the filter.

  4. OhioPrepper says:

    I’m not sure what you are looking for specifically, or exactly what you consider a senior. But I’m just shy of 60 and Lint Picker has me by about a year. I know there are others who haunt this place that are well into their 60’s and beyond. My knees have a little arthritis, and I’m definitely not 20 anymore, but at some level surviving comes down to the three things I teach in all of my classes. Knowledge, Skill, and Attitude. It’s as much the mindset as anything else. If you need a more detailed answer, you’ll simply have to join in and ask.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      I’m almost 61, have rheumatoid arthritis, but intend to do my best to survive whatever may come my way. It really is mostly about attitude and secondarily about your preps, IMO. My medications make it possible for me to (literally) move around, so I’ve got at least a month’s worth stored and rotate it regularly. I think that after 1 month, there will be a way to find a source for the meds, even if as barter items. I’m also finding info on alternative medicines and heat/cold therapies to aid in relief to my joints.

      My advice to anybody, regardless of age, is to do your research. Find alternative ways to do EVERYTHING, including medicines, physical therapies, and food resources. For example, raised beds with make it easier to tend to crops, so think about raising the height of those planter boxes NOW, while you are physically able to. Don’t put things off because you may never be able to get to it if you wait too long.

      Also, gather items today that will make life easier for you when you are older. Such things as higher toilets or high toilet seats. Install some assist bars for the shower and tub. Buy a plastic chair that will fit into the shower or tub so you can bathe easier. Be sure your garage door can be opened if the power goes out, so be sure there is a length of rope dangling down that can be reached by even the shortest adult or teenager in your home. If you have broken steps at your front door, fix them NOW. It is always easier to avoid a problem than to fix it afterwards.

      Look around. people, natural disasters are becoming more frequent and more devastating. We need to get our acts together ASAP, and then PRAY nothing happens to us. Being prepared is becoming more pressing, IMHO, and your/our needs should be addressed as quickly as feasible so you won’t be caught flat-footed.

      Stay safe, stay prepared, get to it.

      • Nor Cal Ray says:

        Lint Picker how did you guys make out up there with the Tsunami? I heard Eureka Harbor is a total loss.

        • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

          Ray, thanks for asking. My home is on a hill, away from the coast itself, and I cannot see the harbor from here. I’m not going anywhere near the ocean until the surf returns to normal and the crazy sightseers leave. It’s just amazing how many people go to the coast when they hear a tsunami might be coming – idiots!

          What I’ve heard, though, is that almost all small harbors along California’s north and central coasts have been severely damaged. Santa Cruz gets the most attention, but I believe Crescent City was actually hardest hit due to its harbor configuration – like a crescent, as the name implies.

          There have been floods in the NE USA; tsunami in Hawaii, Guam, and the West Coast; wildfire in Oklahoma – all today!!!!! I’m telling you, folks, wherever in the world you live, the time to prepare for disaster is NOW – not tomorrow or next week. It’s NOW. And if nothing happens, praise God and use your stored foods and gear for fun instead of for survival.

          To keep on topic: whenever there is flooding or wildfires or tsunamis, or whatever – please gently inform your elderly family and friends and help them leave or prepare. Getting older doesn’t mean we are useless, but it does mean we could use an extra (younger) hand from time to time.

          Now get to it!

          • Nor Cal Ray says:

            My Mistake. I meant Crescent City. I had just finished talking to a friend in Eureka when I posted so I guess it was still on my mind.
            You are right about us not being useless just a little slower, and hopefully a lot smarter than we were when we were younger.
            See you next Friday @ 10:00

      • LP, Have you tried glucosamine sulfate? I got some for my mother years ago and it changed her life. She threw away all of her medications and started dancing again.

      • LintPicker.
        I would much appreciate any information you get regarding other reliefs of your arthritis. I have ostioathritis from head to foot and it is a wrecker. I can still move, but difficult and it hurts like hell. I have been on many different meds to control the pain and the only thing that works (and is beginning to not be so effective anymore) are opioids. I have really been trying to find something and have tried lots of stuff, ointments, jells, acupuncture, physical therapy, spinal injections and etc, but nothing has worked except the opioids.
        I would really appreciate any information you might be able to shed on this subject.

  5. Christine R says:


    When I moved into my new home on 1/3 acre in the city, I foresaw my immediate future as a disabled person with arthritic knees, OPD, bad heart, etc. and built raised beds with wide paths (for when I need a wheelchair or scooter). I knew I would not have help all the time. I do a combination of square foot and french intensive gardening and manage to pull in a good harvest even here in the short growing season of SE Idaho. I keep chickens, too. My sister and her husband have 10 acres and are having a hard time getting around now. They are converting most of their acre plus gardens into raised beds and greenhouses. They transitioned from large animals to small animal raising with rabbits, geese, ducks, turkeys and chickens which gives them plenty of meat. They are also researching a small fish farm production. We are all converting to more expensive, but better production equipment to “make life easier” should the SHTF soon. The only way I can personally make this work is slow and steady like the tortoise. It gets done eventually. All the best to you and your wife.
    Christine R

  6. Luddite Jean says:

    As someone in the older age bracket and also disabled, my best advice is to be as fit as you can be for the best chance of survival. Whatever you can move, move it!

    Eat healthily now, and as MD says, don’t smoke. Get any health problems sorted if possible and build up stocks of essential meds.

    IMHO, raising your own food should be devoted to calorie-rich foodstuffs – no point racking your back to grow a vegetable which gives you less calories than you expend in growing it. In other words, raise small animals and high-calorie, easy to grow vegetables and fruit.

    Learn useful skills which are compatible with your level of ability – teaching, child minding, sewing, carpentry etc.

    Lastly, all the best to you and yours for the future.

  7. I am a senior, and alas and alack and due to 40% mine own fault and the other due to circumstances beyond my control, health wise, I will be at a disadvantage due to numerous factor’s. So I have taken the stance to worry about one thing at a time and things I can achieve by myself (with a little help from ????).
    I believe it is all sitting down and thinking about what you are able to do. List the things that you know you are able to do with no help. Then list the things that need to be done with some help.
    Be diligent in security, (even peace time) checking all your surroundings and securing them as best you can. Pretend the enemy is a hurricane (aka: people) what would you do to secure your place? Get as much of it as you can and keep it handy but out of the way.
    If you have any handycapp remember to plan on being able to get to the stuff and putting it into action.
    Or do it now, what the poo, saves time, energy and worry.
    List the stuff for day to day things you can do, then week by week, then month by month, and it will end up like food storage.
    I live in a old house that is all window’s and the door is glass. I told my son I would sure like to have shutter’s like they had back in the pioneer days with the gun slits in them. Wonder what the landlord would think?
    As far as the garden, I would start looking for sunny spots to plant stuff in. In other words container or raised garden some of it. Especially if you are preserving the food. The more the better, and do it now while you can. Canned food lasts more than the one year and is rotatable.
    Oh, and look for things that are handy, like those jar gripper thingy’s sometime’s old hands just can’t get that dang thing to open. I’ve hugged jars, and grunted like all get out only to get red in the face.
    Listen some of the youngn’s think they PREPARE, only to DESPAIR, and have to turn around and REPAIR all that they have.
    You are blessed by at least having your own place. Look for all the plus’.
    Well this is probably considered rambling, I do a lot of that, but chalk it up to an old tymer’s mind in limbo.

  8. Tomthetinker says:

    Glock27: By this time Sunday you’ll have enough useful information to write a small book. MDs forum here will give you the answers you need. I sit down here several times a week with a note pad and surf from dot to dot and connect what I need to know or where to find it.

    Ok here are my suggestions…… Opinions:
    Find someone with P90X videos and barrow the ‘stretch’ disc. ‘do your best and forget the rest’. I do it daily like brushing my teeth.
    Get your teeth in order… eyes… feet… I have ‘spares’ of what it takes to keep em useful…
    As you see your Dr.s… ask… ask for the extra meds you need and extra meds you will want to vac pak and store. It has taken me a number of visits but all but 1 will script what I ask for… and NO I don’t store pain meds. See on YouTube on this subject.
    Surf MDs. ( The Creekmore Library) older posts. They are loaded with the what, where, when, why and how of doing what we all hope to do.
    Ohio Prepper is Right….. Knowledge, Skill (s), Attitude. I will modify the last (attitude)….. having the ‘Will’ to do what you must.
    I am so far from being a ‘spring chicken’…… I… we… simply have to take what we learn and tweek it to fit what we ..know.. we can do….

    • TomTheTinker.
      Thanks for your input. I will certainly follow up on some of your suggestions. Getting enough pain meds to store is an impossibility as I see it. That is all that gets me through the pain, believe me, I have tried numerous times to go without. Right not I am 5 hours without, my legs hurt, my feet my back and hands. The pain is also exhausting. I fear that my physician will come to shutting me down and I have not, as of yet, discovered a way to get through the pain.
      Thanks again. I really appreciate it.

      • Might I suggest this. It’s not something I have done or intend to do but for those that are dependent on pain killers you might want to do a bit of web searching on the variety of poppy flowers that are available in the market.

        • Christine R says:

          yuh, and any OTHER herbs you can get away with. 😉 I grow foxglove in my garden in case I run out of heart meds. Doesn’t grow WELL here though. Too alkaline probably. And a lot of times can’t get that second year growth. Grow chili peppers for that capsaisin arthritis cream!

          Don’t forget your heat source. I don’t know about you, but I can’t do without my heating pad or soak in the hot tub when the pain gets out of hand. Get some oldtimey hot water bottles and if you can afford it at the other end of the scale, you can get a wood-fired hot tub for a reasonable price.

  9. Candy in Nebraska says:

    In my house we have my mother who is completely disabled. It is already set up if things get to much worse she will have to go to a nursing home and hopefully survive there. She has to many health issues and she can barely walk and she cannot talk or cook or clean. She can not change herself , nothing. It is cold I know but we have the younger generations to worry about and I feel if I was in as bad of health as she is that my children do the same for me. Put me in a nursing home or hospital and go. We will keep mother till the end but if the shtf got to do what we can to survive esp. when one of the grandkids mom doesn’t want to learn squat.

    • Candy. You are certainly brave and loyal. For me, I have decided that if it starts to get that bad and I have clear knowledge of it, I will not be a burden to my kid, or grandkids. I could not think of it. I have at times just wanted to quit and close the doors now, but that day is not here yet. My God bless and keep you.

  10. Having just turned 64 January, I’m not quite in the ‘senior’ category yet, but for my age, I’ve got to double up on OP’s and others’ comments: it’s all in your head. For the most part, at least.
    Bad joints and ruined back, tired (and often worn out) muscles all create problems a younger person won’t encounter. I do think much about the wheelchair awaiting me- at which time I’ll just take a long canoe trip alone- but I do intend to survive as long as I can, most likely alone.
    My body ain’t 20 any more, regardless what the head says, and time required for doing things is much longer, but I can still do them. And I think that may be part of what you’re looking for: “Will our age make us less likely to survive?” In short: No. You’ll just have less time to worry about it.
    I’m not in as good of shape as when I was 20. Or 50. Or 60. But I’m still able to get around on my own, do what needs doing and have no intention of going quietly into the night when TSHTF or when confronted with danger.
    Of course, we’ve got disadvantages due to our age and deteriorated physical condition, but we also have advantages from experience. The ability to see a problem from both ends is a big help: how do I do this with the least amount of exertion? Experience has shown us how our body works best and this combined with caution will get us through the day.
    And having a big dog as an early warning system is a great idea, too! 🙂
    Shy III

    • I wouldn’t give you two cents in the morning when getting out of bed. Takes me two or three hours to see if I indeed need to take something. Listen, I figure if you can move it, it is still workable. I am the same age, but the kicker is I am always surprided I wake up in the morning. What a plus!!!!!!

    • I think an add on to your point is age = wisdom (in most cases) and you learn to economize moves.

      If I remember correctly, you are a martial arts instructor. You know how it is when sparring with the pee & vinegar students who dance around and sweats trying to score a hit while the instructor patiently waits to expend energy. Aging is much the same.

      I’m in my late 50’s and have no trouble keeping up with my kids. I’ve had 3 knee surgeries, 2 elbow surgeries from a college athletics and, knock on my wooden head, no signs of arthritis. I fully agree it’s all a state of mind & well balanced diet and regular exercise helps considerably.

      We have a very close family friend who is a retired Marine Corp Colonel. For years he walked at a very high pace for 3 miles every single day and finally stopped when he turned 88 – no BS, he was my neighbor and I watched the daily action.

      I was teasing him at his 92nd birthday party about being a failed Marine because he couldn’t do his daily “ooh rah” walks. He quietly said to me – “son your right, I can’t do the daily walks anymore but now I ride a stationary bike everyday for 45 minutes”. Who got the last laugh?

      He will probably live to see the 22nd century.

    • GardenMom says:

      You mentioned “taking the long canoe trip alone” which is something DH and I have discussed. If a situation becomes that awful and there really is no alternative – how do you plan for this? Bottle of aspirin? Bullet? We discussed sleeping in our car with the motor running (in the garage), but really, we would be out of gas at that point. Has anyone prepped for this? Thanks for your thoughtful comments with all my questions, I really appreciate this site.

      • It’s incredibly sad to see people who actually consider & speculate the idea of suicide because of why, an extremely remote possibility of the entire world collapsing? Is this what it’s come to … for some of you?

        There seems to be a growing common thread of thoughts from people with fatalist ideas here – either outright admitting like it is here or tucked into the anger & F the world dialog in posts, and it is most disturbing.

        This is the problem with bringing in all of the negative possibilities to predict future events, then using that SOLE information for decisioning – it can do nothing but slowly kill the human spirit & that my friends is abominable.

        I for one, will never, ever accept aging as a negative thing. I don’t care if I have 5 strokes, doubled over with arthritis & am confined to a wheelchair with a drool cup strapped to my chest, life is a gift from God only and is a blessing in any capacity.

        The Bible says that God has a plan for each of our lives in fact everybody knows the famous Psalm 23:4 scripture – “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me ….”

        God has a plan NOT Obama or the US government or the G 8 or Libya or the Chinese or whatever other worldly influence you can speculate with. Get with the program folks, it is the only factual truth & choice and most times, irrespective of your beliefs.

        I was mentally abused as a child & imprisoned in a place worse than nightmares, had 6 major surgeries, nearly died once, was a multi-millionare, owned 3 companies and had a monthly income that could support a small country & lost it all – every penny, due to a bad partnership choice – all before the age of 46, and refuse to look into the world with anything less than a smile because on the other side of the equation I got the best children on the planet and still have a great life.

        And to the the rest of you who contemplate such a dismal outlook, you – all by your sole and exclusive self, are perpetuating your own early demise.

        • I don’t read these commenters as having a ‘dismal outlook’ but only a fool would refuse to consider all sides of a situation and plan accordingly. Perhaps JimShyWolf, having made his peace with how he will die, then focused all his will and might and experience of living each day as fully as he is able, with or without divine assistance

          • Steve….You leave me speechless. I always know there are others in the world who have had a life much harder than I, but my experiances are mine and yours are yours. You are certainly an extremely brave soul. I would never have made it through an nth of what you have. Guess thats why people are different. If I choose to end all, that is my choice and I should not be criticized for it. At least I have opened up space for others and there will be a little bit more air for some child to breath.

            • Point being Glock, one can endure much more than they think & honestly, I don’t think people are much different. I am nothing special and, like most anybody else, was not equipped for any of what happened.

              I often joke with my kids that dad was successful 51% of the time and although the 49% is a large number, I was still a step or two ahead of the game. Some people look at failure as a negative, I tried to bite the bullet and attempted to learn from those experiences.

              I had many dark days, as you might imagine (ha,ha), but could not help seeing the brighter side of life – it was probably my survival mechanism I developed as a child to keep me going. An ancillary benefit to that developed mechanism is, I do not understand the word “quit” much any more.

              I am nowhere close to this experience but in the movie Life is Beautiful, the main character survived in a Nazi prison camp by a similar method.

              I understand full well those thoughts of the aforementioned people but have always found another reason to smile or see some beauty.

          • Amazing comment, what can I say to that? I would agree that only a fool would not consider all sides of a situation.

            BTW, I was addressing Garden Mom but admittedly was surprised by Shy’s comment.

      • GardenMom says:

        As I have said previously, I prep for the same reason I wear a seatbelt – it’s too late when something happens to try to prep, or put on a seatbelt. I don’t want to be in a car accident and I hope my preps are just stocking up to use when prices are higher. But, in a post-SHTF situation with a life ending injury or the food is gone with no hope of more – this is something that we may each need to face. DH and I were just discussing it, the same way we discuss how to bake bread without an oven. I was just wondering if others had given this some thought.

      • Oops… I seem to’ve begun a conflict of misunderstanding and I sincerely apologize for it. I understand that each of us has ‘expressions’ that are familiar only to ourselves and those in our circle- and one of mine is the solo canoe trip ‘when the time comes’, which for me is becoming a burden to others.
        I know well what God says about suicide, and I have no intentions whatever of committing suicide. I have no intent of shooting myself and giving anti-gunners more ammo to use agianst firearms. No, I will not sit in the car and wait for the gas to put me asleep. I take so many pills now just to keep walking that a bottle of aspirin would probably just make me feel better.
        My ‘last canoe trip’ is my reference to becoming an invalid and if I have most my faculties to understand what’s happening, I will take one last trip, alone, with no intent of coming back. I’ll live as long as I can, survive however I can, but I will not, absolutely refuse, to become a burden to anyone, even if they get paid to do it. If it’s a choice between a wheel chair and having to be bottle fed or a diaper changed, or a solo canoe trip, I’ll take the canoe.
        It isn’t about taking the coward’s way out, or about being selfish, or the world collapsing or who’s in the White House- it has all to do with my freedom and freedom of choice. I came into the world kicking and screaming, hopefully I go out the same way rather than whimpering and begging on my knees.
        Aging isn’t a negative thing-it’s a blessing. Age allows us to see more clearly, if we’re looking, and to understand ourselves better. And as God directed Moses into the mountains rather than enter the Promised Land, I will wander to the mountains rather than burden another. That’s all there is to it. I won’t go so far as to say that ‘God told me to do this’, yet the feeling is strong this is His will in my circumstances.
        Again, I’m not contemplating suicide, I’m contemplating death in the manner I have lived: honorably (I hope), free and in commune with God at His footstool.
        Gosh, I could go on- there are a tremendous number of people who commit suicide daily- and all thought their circumstances were beyond their abilities without considering what God can, and does, do in their life. I’ve known several and each has affected my life in many ways and I love and think of those people still. Yet suicide isn’t on my list of thoughts, while dignity and choice are.
        Shy III

  11. mohaverat says:

    Dear sir, I am afraid I have nothing to offer because I have been caught unprepared by disabilities ,leaving me in need of assistance and no one to help.
    I will say this: Unless you raised some remarkable children (be realistic in your assessment) don’t count on them for anything. chances are good they can’t be bothered or will be more of a burden then they relieve. Even if they do attempt to help, they will become resentful rather quickly. Unless you are in better shape than me you will not want to hear how you have ruined their lives .
    Perhaps, you were a better parent than me. I hope so.
    good luck,

    the rat

    • Listen you could have raised your kids like the “Leave it to Beavers” family and it would not assure you the help of your kids.
      And surpise, surpise old will happen to them.
      I raised mine with the momma addage, I will be your mother even after I’m dead. And just because they turned a certain age doesn’t mean I stopped being a parent, and won’t tell them what for. I don’t mess into their live’s unless they do something wrong. And let me tell you it’s the little things you have to keep up with.
      I am so sorry to hear that you are in such bad health. I will pray for you (wheather you want it or not). I don’t know how disabled you are, but try everyday to do something impossible no matter how small.

      • Thanks ellen. It is an inspiration. My major problem is sever cronic back pain from the tail to the shoulders, ships, knees, shoulders and elbows and fingers. Osteoarthritis. I’ve not been one of the lucky ones with just a little bit, I’ve been blessed with the whole ball of wax. Your prayers for me will be greatly, and deeply appreciated. God knows I could use them as too many times I just want to quit and close the door to all of it. Thanks!

    • mohaverat.
      See my reply to Ellen. I don’t know if I have been a good parent. I have one disabled child and another I am not sure about, other than he is a blood sucker, draining my wife and I dry. I swear he has to be a secret IRS agent. Neither of us have the heart to say no, mostly because of the grandkids. If we stop what we are doing the kids will suffer the most anguish and I could not come close to hurting them at all.
      We are a people of a new age. May God grant you what is necessary to bear onward.

      • Glock, I feel for you about the situation with your son and it speaks much of the character of you & your lovely bride. Drawing lines or making boundaries is not as easy as most think but keep the faith, God will prevail in the end.

        The problem with the “new age” as you describe, is character & integrity have become relative to personal wants and desires.

      • mohaverat says:

        Thanks for the kind words guys. didn’t mean to sound so pitiful.

  12. Well not to be cynical or anything, money or gold or trade goods may not buy love, but it sure does buy a young body to do all the grunt work.

  13. blindshooter says:

    I’m getting to the point where I can’t do things that were easy just a few years back due to spine troubles. My “fix” has worked like this, I am REALLY good to my two nephews and so far anytime I need a good “back” they will help. My stepdaughter is 800 miles away so I won’t get any help there. I have thought about how I would fare in a long term grid down situation and it ain’t good. I don’t think I could tend garden well enough to feed myself without gasoline/diesel tractors. Might be better to store more long term food preps now( I have done that). We will regret letting our families get so scattered if things take a quick downturn. Nobody will look after you like your family. At least that’s my take on it.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Exactly, blindshooter, this is one reason why, in the old days, family stayed close together. Families were the “social security” for thousands of years. We need to get back to having our families close and looking out for each other. Something good may come out of all this social and economic turmoil – maybe we’ll get back to placing family first and material goods far down the line.

      • SurvivalistWoman says:

        You know I was just telling a friend today about this issue and how we will need the younger generation to help with the things we are no longer able to do like they did in times past. They had big families but they all stayed together and worked together for the betterment of the family unit as a whole. It is a shame how families have split and moved away. I do still have my kids near 50 miles or less and am so thankful I spoiled them to want to stay close to home. But if someone would have told me when I was young that my close nit family (siblings) wouldn’t be in my life as an adult or we wouldn’t live in the same city I would not have believed them, but it happened. I say let nature be your teacher , heck even wolves live in packs, alpha male & female and their offspring, they hunt together in unisom to insure the survival of the whole pack. I too have prepared for all of my children and grandchildren as I know if the SHTF they will be home asap. They laugh at me now but they will come home believe it. Your children and family will surprise you when the chips are down.

  14. Schatzie Maggers says:

    I am 68 and the husband is 74. We still do pretty much what we want to do but we definitely do it slower than before. I do gardening in 10 gallon pots on the patio. The husband has had open heart surgery but still is active – he just finished tiling the bathroom shower. He is going to make me some square foot plots that are built up. I try to look ahead at what we may need as we get older and I have decided to buy one of those wheeled walkers that have a seat and handlebar brakes. Maybe I should get some of those adult diapers just in case :-).

    • Candy in Nebraska says:

      With the wheeled walker be careful make sure it is very sturdy. My mother had one and we threw it out she used hers twice outside to help in the flower beds( and she broke it. She weighed 146 lbs at the time the wheel walker was rated for 350 lbs. Get an electric scooter she goes every where with it when it isnt raining or snowing.

  15. My advise is to stop thinking of your self as a senior citizen. By the way, I’m almost 61. The way I approach life is based solely on what I’m capable of doing. Sure I can’t do what I used to do but I can still do more than a lot of folks that are younger than me.

    Concentrate on what you can do, what you could do if you knew how and what you need to continue to live. Stock up as much as possible with medicines you might need. Try to get in physical and mental shape and learn the skills you need to survive just the same as if you were 30.

  16. Attitude and Confidence gained from training, studying and practice are the keys to survival at any age.

    Being 64 myself I would also suggest that you take a look at the medications you are taking. As you get older this list can grow. Take the time to understand what these pills are supposed to do for you and which ones may cause your death or disability if you don’t take them.

    By understanding what they do you can find natural and herbal substitutes. If the pharmacies are closed for any length of time this could save your life or at least be worth a try.

  17. As a senior citizen who has been a prepper for a long time, there is at least one area that sets us apart: we’re taking more medications now than ever before. My advice is to maintain at least a 90 day supply of each medication you take. Personally, I maintain a six month supply.

    Also, since we tend to forget things, I would mark clearly on your calendar the earliest date when the next refill can be ordered. Otherwise, it is too easy to forget that you have stocked this medicine ahead and start using what you’ve put aside. Needless to say, a strick rotation needs to be followed. First in is first used.

    Fortunately, my doctor of 25 years who has gotten used to my prepper mentality, wrote out an extra 90 day script for me a few years ago. I have managed to accumulate the additional supply by refilling at the earliest date possible. These extra 90 day supplies will need to be paid outside of your prescription plan (or outside of Medicare), otherwise it’s likely they won’t fill them. Yes, it costs more, but I feel this is a small cost for being prepared. I also went to an entirely different pharmacy in order to avoid any questions about why I was having additional medications filled. Walmart has good generic prices for 90 day supplies.

    I store my extra medications in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. It’s important to keep the moisture away from the medicines.

    • Thanks W. I never even thought of that, but I have one problem, one of my meds is DEA controlled and a 90 day supply is totally out of the question. It use to be and they have brought it back down to 60 days. Its really a sour deal for an older population that requires pain medication just to function on a half human scale. Some days I simply feel like forgetting the whole thing and closing the doors to it all.

      • Glock27 – Indeed, controlled substances can’t be included in my suggested plan. On the other hand, I wouldn’t hesitate to have this type of medication refilled at the very earliest allowable time. Make sure you mark your calendar 58 days ahead from the day you get your refill. I have to admit that one of my medications also falls into this category and I’m with you on this. We will survive.

      • Christine R says:

        Yes, I have a couple of these meds and learned several years ago to get refills five days before I ran out (the earliest allowable time) and I put five pills away each month until I had an extra month’s worth and continued on until I eventually had 3 months worth. Just be sure to rotate for freshness. This takes time, but is doable and not to sound like this is what I would WANT you to do (last thing on my mind and in my heart), but I also feel I have a backup stockpile in case I want to have an “escape” route.

  18. Even if the s**t doesn’t hit the fan in our lifetimes, which I seriously doubt, there simply aren’t enough resources and money (and lets be honest, the desire) to support an aging population. (just exactly why that is, is a whole ‘nuther rant!) If we don’t take what steps we can NOW it certainly isn’t going to be any easier as we get older.

    • Widdershins, get your head out of you butt. What the hell do you think happened in Japan yesterday. SHTF doesn’t necessarily mean a civil war or a mass EMP attack.

      By the way, I can’t worry about there being enough resources to take care of the entire population, old, young or in between.
      My job is to worry about my family and me. My goal is to be the last SOB standing when the dust clears.

      • Very well put Charlie, thank you. It really boils down that simple goal, doesn’t it?

        The ripple effect with the Japan disaster will reach us – simply due to economic & trade ties.

  19. Thanks M.D. for the input. There is no way I can describe to you my appreciation. I am 66 and life is not treating me as well as I would like given some of the physical limitations I have. Thanks again.

  20. SrvivlSally says:

    I would say that you should stock up on dry and canned foods and water. Stocking up on basic self-treatment medicines and a supply of bandages. Get your influenza shots regularly, especially if you have been getting them over the years. Absolutely get a Tetanus shot, everyone should, even if you had one five years ago because once you get a new shot the time period of ten years starts anew and you will be protected from the potentially fatal illness. Have a stockpile of fresh vitamin C and other supplements on hand. Pick up a cheap blood pressure cuff if you have blood pressure or heart problems and have several bottles of 325 mg aspirin on hand in case you need them. Make sure there is plenty of Prep. H if you may need it. Stock up on fuels for burning-it might be best to get a military stove from Coleman’s like they used to use way back when, and some fire wood, newspapers and lighters to go along with it. I would get and have on hand an easy-start generator with at least 50 to 100 gallons of gasoline or more if you can, new or newly tuned up and ready to go. Maybe some all-weather kerosene lamps and long-burning candles. Aviation fire starters are easy to use as they are a one-handed operation and you hardly notice that you have one when you are walking around with it in your pocket. A 1,000 gallons of water or more in a good tank that flows directly to buckets or a kiddie pool in the basement. During winter our friends tank had run out and the available creek water was froze up so badly that they were out for several days before it rained but were not able to collect more than a few jugs at the time so I would recommend some good insulation surrounding a tank or holding unit of any kind. Maybe have someone put it into the ground below the frost line or deeper, might help to keep your water running and safe from any threat of theft if the neighbors are out and are looking around others places to find some. Make sure there are extra blankets and goods on hand. If you use a walker, wheel chair or other assistive device, make sure it is tuned up and oiled and if at all possible you should try to get an extra, refurbished one on hand. If you use foam pads on your bed then you might want to think of getting a few extras and stick them away for a later time. Even with limitations, keep whatever muscles you currently have and routinely use working because there is nothing like letting them go and later finding that you are weaker or more disabled due to stiffness, the old cricking and popping worse than when you last took notice. My grandmother, being around her 90s, has suffered with the big knuckle arthritis for more than 15 years but she still gets out and does pull ups the best she can, walks and does all that she can. Her legs aren’t what they used to be but, pain or no pain, knobs and all, she still puts forth the effort. She was always sedentary and had several accidents on foot and behind the wheel which did not have good effects upon her body but she never let that stop her fully. Whatever works, never stop. If it keeps you limber or will limber you up, by all means, do it and do it the best that you can. If you are wheel chair bound, do what you can and do all that you can. If you do not have good balance, get and try a balance board or, one foot at a time, put a foot in a stretchy type band and pull with your hands. If your hands are bad but you can still use your arms alright without your shoulders hurting or aggravating any symptoms you may have, pull with your lower arms. Keep in mind, if one thing doesn’t work but another does then get and be creative. The thing to keep in mind is to not let your body just go to hell and leave yourself wishing or regretting that you had done something or listened to that little voice in the back of your mind.

  21. wow Sally. You have a lot of good points. I would like to ask you a few questions, O.K. Storing gasoline is going to be hard, given the prices today. I have a minimal amount to keep my generator operational only as an emergency. I loos power a lot where I am and it can be for several days. Fortunately most of the outages have been in the summer, so 30 gallons is the most. I use the exterder in every can, but that is good only for 6 months. Vitimines loose their potency over time so buying lotss of “C” could be a waste maby.
    Thank you for your input. It has been helpful and will help in my list, but as I read, this is getting to be a big list. I could wind up like one of those people on t.v. called horders. I guess it might be o.k. since there is a good reason for it. Thanks again. I appreciate your time an effort to help.

    • SrvivlSally says:

      Hi, Glock27. A person can only do the best that they can under any circumstance. A friend of mine introduced me to their fuel additive, sorry but I do not know what the brand name is, that will keep their gasoline storage for around a year and all that is needed is for them to add more additive when the time comes due. This is great because they can keep what they have and not have to worry about there being no supply when tshtf or teotwawki comes. Vitamin C, when kept in a cool, dark place, UNOPENED, should keep for about a year-don’t quote me-it is a supplement which is required to be replaced. What I meant by ‘lots of C/supplements’ is to have at least a fresh six-month (or longer) supply on hand because if the stores run out and they likely will then where in the hell-o will anyone get any. During an emergency, if times were hard, I would not use them unless I were getting short on food stuffs, had an infection or I was getting wore out. We should not forget that citrus fruits may be a thing of the past or near impossible to obtain some sweet day. Ha, ha, ha, a hoarder. Well, I don’t think you would be a hoarder if you obtain only the things that you might be needing such as a cane to bat some little sob over the head with when he is trying to steal your vitamins. If you don’t want to store bottles of vitamin C then get some of that cheap children’s sweetened drink mix with vitamin C added, seal it up inside a piece of black or dark plastic, tape the top well so that no air will ever get inside and keep the container in the dark. You not only get the benefit of a food but you also get that of a nutrient. If your food supplies are running low or you have been without three hots for a couple of days then a few crackers, a slice of bread or something solid will help absorb any of the extra acid from the drink mix that your stomach may not entirely tolerate. Without something to take up the slack of the extra acid, the fluid in your stomach may decide, especially if it has been empty for a while, that it wants to defy gravity which is something that you do not want to happen because it will cause throat and/or mouth irritation the first time around. You most definitely will need to make sure that you do not overdo it with acidic foods or drinks when you are not able to feed your stomach well. As I am sure you would agree, it is not important as to exactly what you have at your disposal but that you have what you need when it is needed and that you are able to do the most that you can for yourself. When the shtf, there could be any number of scenarios but I can guarantee that every one of them may require one candle, one wool or silver emergency blanket, water, soap, medicine, knife, fire starter and last but not least food. One more bit of interesting information about vitamin C is that it is good to use when undergoing stressful conditions or situations where the norm (of everyday life) is not present for any length of time whether that be 10 days or 10 years. And, just like with a regular stash of food supplies, you would want to rotate your stock of “C” which would mean that you regularly take it and replace it as you start to empty it out. In my opinion, it would never be a waste of time nor money especially when an economy could be falling down upon it’s knees and a possible third-world scenario or worse could befall it. Shudder. Just do the best you can and follow your stocking up instinct.

  22. Rev.Chance says:

    Does age matter? I believe it does. The folks in our dead end neighborhood encompass all age groups. One member in our plan is over 80. She can be helpful in tending to the needs of children and assisting in the infirmary. She depends on other members for security. Another member is in his early 50’s and while he may not have the stamina of a younger person, he is like a walking internet connection when it comes to hands on skills. He has taught me carpentry, welding, gardening, and countless other skills. His patience and leadership make him a great teacher. Our children (in their 20’s) live locally and have the physical condition to accomplish the harder tasks and perform Op-Sec. duties. It takes a community to make life more comfortable and secure during a S.H.T.F. scenario.
    My Grandfather lives alone in an isolated area. He is mostly blind and depends on neighbors for many things. A hurricane swept in three years ago and left the area without electricity for a month. My Grandfather’s neighbors all came together to grill dinners, fetch water, and keep the area secure. Everyone was blessed and overcame the obstacles unscathed.

  23. I found this post quite good

    In the comments there is also an interesting one from an 80yr old

  24. Hi folks, I guess I didn’t realize how old I was. I’m 82 and just spent 10 hours cleaning out my drain on our pond which is getting close to the top due to all the rain in N. Calif. I have been prepared since 1979 when I thought the end must be close. I do feel it is closer now. I play golf, walk, try to stay up on events and keep prepared. Our oldest daughter is 60 and we have three more about one and a half years apart younger. We only have one son and his family geographically close but I’m afraid they think we are around the bend so I have stopped with the political and financial discussions. Frankly they said they have gotten a little tired of the doom and gloom. We love them and they love us but think things have turned around and things are going to be better.
    As far as attitude, I’ve got my foot on the gas and intend to see this thing through and am excited to see a new beginning.

    • Will, you and I think alike. You’ve got 20 years on me. I hope my attitude is still like yours in 20 years. To tell you the truth, as much as I hope we never see a shtf situation here, if it does happen I, like you, will look forward to the opportunity to rebuild. I just would like to be younger and thus more able bodied when it happens.

      • Thanks Charlie, I’m not sure if I will be rebuildable but would like to be around to see the reset and some semblence of sanity restored when your compensation had some relationship to what you produced.

        • Those in your 20’s, 30’s & 40’s please take note of the wisdom & looking at life in a positive way.

  25. my sister, mother, an i just canned up about 8 quarts of chili. got to organize the pantry here soon too, i think we r gettin of to a gud start

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