Friday, December 5, 2014

Helping Your Senior Prepare for Winter

Winter days are approaching and that means colder weather and the chance of snow and ice accumulation. These changes can pose a threat to seniors if they are not prepared. If winter weather should strike, families can rest easier knowing that their loved one is safe and has adequate supplies. Here are some ways you can help to winterize your senior’s home:

Check the heating system

Temperatures can quickly drop during the winter making proper heat an even greater necessity. Seniors are often more sensitive to changes in temperature and may get cold more easily. Schedule a maintenance call to have their heating system checked to ensure it is in proper working condition. Replace filters and make sure they know how to set the system to a comfortable temperature. Also check smoke detectors as well as carbon monoxide detectors and put in fresh batteries. This will alert your senior so they can escape potentially dangerous situations.

Keep pantries and supplies well stocked

Make sure that your senior has plenty of non-perishable foods, bottles of water, and emergency medications. Stock up on batteries, flashlights, blankets, and other essentials in case the power should go out.

Have salt for walkways

Keep a container of salt on hand for when your senior ventures out. They can sprinkle it on icy patches or on wet surfaces to help prevent freezing. Make arrangements for someone to clear their walkway or driveway after a storm so that they do not have to do this themselves. If they are part of a homeowners association, the association may take responsibility for snow removal. In other cases, neighborhoods are often full of teenagers or young adults who would be willing to help out.

Seal doors and windows

Older homes especially can have cracked or broken seals around doors and windows. Consider replacing or repairing these seals or adding extra protection. Placing a draft stopper along the bottom of doorways and across window sills can also reduce the amount of cold air that enters and heat that escapes.

Check in frequently

Call or stop by to check in on your loved one. If you aren’t available, make arrangements with a reliable friend or neighbor, or use an in-home care service. Knowing that someone is regularly visiting with, checking in on, and assisting your senior can give you peace of mind as to their safety, health, and wellbeing. 

Don’t let the winter weather get ahead of you. Make plans now to assist your senior in preparing for the season and ensuring that they have everything they need.

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