The arrival of winter brings challenges for every homeowner, but seniors may need to take extra measures to be ready for colder temperatures. Starting preparations as early as possible is the best way to ensure you or your loved one stays safe during the winter months.
Let’s take a look at some simple things that can be done to help your older loved one get ready for the winter season.
Prepare for Winter Storms
Slipping on ice-covered sidewalks and driveways is a huge fall risk for seniors. Make arrangements prior to a snow storm to have the driveway and walkways shoveled and salted as soon as it is over. If you or a relative can’t take care of it, hire a service or neighbor to take care of it. Look for any local agencies on aging who may provide these kinds of services for seniors during the winter months.
Stockpile Supplies for Power Outages
When heavy snows and ice storms arrive, they can weigh down power lines, causing outages. Putting together an emergency kit of supplies will ensure your loved one is not caught off guard.
According to the CDC, accidental injuries, such as falls, are one of the leading causes of death in individuals over the age of 65.
Stockpiling batteries and a few heavy-duty flashlights will guarantee there is no stumbling around in the dark if there is a loss of power.
In the winter, a loss of power also means a loss of heating. Older adults lose body heat faster, so keeping blankets and warm clothing, including hats, scarves, and gloves, on hand is a must.
Check your loved one’s pantry to ensure they have enough readily edible non-perishable food on hand in the event the refrigerator and freezer stops working.
Schedule a Professional Chimney Inspection
Even in warmer climates, everyone loves a cozy fire in the fireplace when the temperature begins to drop. If fireplaces and wood stoves aren’t regularly cleaned, however, they can become a fire hazard or source of carbon monoxide.
Over just one season, creosote can build up in a chimney and become a fire hazard. If a chimney isn’t venting properly, it can also create a build-up of carbon monoxide in the home. By hiring a professional to come clean and inspect your chimney, you can be assured your fireplace is safe to use during the chillier months.
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Keep in Regular Contact
During the winter months, fewer hours of sunlight and cold temperatures can trigger bouts of loneliness and depression. For seniors who have a harder time traveling and getting out of the house, it’s easier to fall into these negative emotions.
Maintaining close contact with your loved ones through visits or video calls can improve their mental health. If you can’t visit frequently, try reaching out to a neighbor who can check up on your loved one to make sure they’re safe and healthy.
Finish Any Last-Minute House Maintenance
Once the temperatures drop, it becomes very difficult to fix a leaky roof or repair a window. Do a walk-through of your loved one’s home to check for any needed repairs. This is a great way to ensure nothing will break down during the cold winter months.
Frontier Senior Living is Here to Help
Keeping ahead of the weather is the best way to help your senior loved one stay safe and healthy this winter. Should the time come when they are not able to live safely or independently at home, the caring staff at Frontier Senior Living is here to help. We have assisted many families find the right senior living community to meet their loved one’s unique needs.
If you would like to learn more about our services, please contact us today.