Protecting Our Seniors During Winter

Well, we have been lucky so far, but winter is upon us. In Michigan, we relish the sunny days and any day above freezing. We don’t mind the snow, but the ice, wind, and cold nights can cause concern. Winter is here. Have you done the preparations for your older loved ones that live at home? Here are some tips to be prepared for the cold weather and seniors living at home.
Each year it is recommended to have the furnace checked to make sure it is ready to warm your home safely and set the thermostat at 68 degrees. Seniors can get cold easily and hypothermia can actually set in if the thermostat is too low. Making sure the furnace is running smoothly can keep the home warm at all times and keep your loved ones safe. Another cozy aspect of the home in the winter is the fireplace. All fireplaces should be inspected to make sure the chimney is clean and free of blockages- even for a gas fireplace. Often animals can build nests, excess burning by-products can build up in the chimney, or any other blockages can cause risks to the health and safety of people in their homes. One of the best and easiest checks are the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure the batteries are new twice a year and that the alarms are working. Please test them. It is recommended to have them on each floor, outside bedrooms, and at key positions throughout the home.
Do you have an emergency preparedness kit for your loved ones or in your own home? Some of the obvious items to include are flashlights or lanterns, extra batteries, a battery radio, and a blanket. However other items to include are bottles of water, non-perishable foods, and a written out plan of who to call to let them know you have lost power, who to call if the furnace goes out, or if you have a water/plumbing problem. You should also make sure that you have at least a week’s supply of medication on hand. If you are using a cell phone, make sure your battery is always charged in preparation for a cold snap, snow, or ice event.
One of the other key steps for winter prep for seniors (or anyone!) is to make sure that your car and outside your home are ready for winter. Blankets and water kept in your car are a good idea and be sure your gas tank doesn’t go below a half tank. Sometimes that’s a hard tip to remember! If you haven’t already done so, have a plan for having the path, driveway, and area by the mailbox cleared of snow and salt spread if there is ice.
These are important steps to thoroughly protect our seniors during the winter. It is important to recheck each year to make sure your loved ones are safe; just in case! It’s never too late to do a safety check. Affinity Senior Care is ready to help your seniors be prepared. We make sure your medication plan is carried out, we can help prepare an emergency kit in your home and we can help make sure your loved ones are cared for every day. Call us today if you need help caring for someone in your life. 248-363-8430.