Winter is almost here and if you’re in Canada or most of the United States, the weather is probably getting colder. It’s time to make the last checks and preparations to make sure your home is properly prepared for the cold weather,and, perhaps more importantly, make sure your senior loved ones’ homes are prepared for winter. If you haven’t done so already, here are a few simple things to check on to make sure your elderly loved ones are safe through the cold and snow.
Provide a supply of road salt or de-icer for the driveway and front steps
Put a smaller container of salt near the door where you or your loved one can easily reach it and sprinkle it in front of them as they move outside. A larger supply can be stored elsewhere for refilling.
Arrange for snow removal
As we get older, snow shovelling becomes a greater and greater risk to our safety. The risk goes beyond slipping and falling for seniors; shovelling is a significant workout and can lead to heart attacks for those who are at risk or unprepared. If a senior relative or loved one has a mobility challenge or health issue, make sure to help them find a reliable person who can plow or shovel snow during the winter.
Check smoke detectors and other home essentials
Make sure there is a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector on each level of your loved one’s home and that each is tested and has a fresh battery. If there is a fireplace in the house, make sure it is professionally cleaned at least once per year to avoid potentially flammable build-ups or the exhaustion of smoke into the house. If the house is heated with an oil furnace, be sure that it is filled and inspected regularly and that all pipes and valves are secure.
Prepare for emergencies
No one wants to think about getting snowed in or losing power because of a winter storm, but it’s important to be prepared for them nonetheless. Make sure that your loved one has a stock of canned or non-perishable food in the pantry, as well as extra blankets, first aid supplies, batteries, extra medication, and a battery-powered radio in their home. These will provide security in case you or other family or friends aren’t able to reach them right away after a storm.
Double-check your preparations
Your loved one’s home likely has storm windows installed by this time of year, but it doesn’t hurt to give them another check before the snow comes. Weather stripping on windows and doors should also be checked for proper coverage and insulation to avoid drafts. Be sure also that any outdoor garden hoses are brought inside and that the water pipes leading to them are shut off and drained.
These five tips will help you and your loved ones to stay safe and secure this winter. If at any time your senior loved ones experience mobility challenges or require more assistance to stay safe and comfortable in their homes, Close to Home’s Health & Safety Monitoring solutions can help. See our affordable home monitoring packages here, or call 1-888-877-2569.