With the temperatures dropping to sub-zero levels, it’s essential to keep a regular check on your aged relatives living alone. Harsh weather conditions can put your loved one’s health at risk.
We’ve put together an easy-to-follow winter weather checklist that you can keep handy for your older family member.
Warm Winter Clothes
When it comes to winter wear, always remember the Norwegian saying – “There is no bad weather, only bad clothes!”
Ensure your loved one has appropriate winter clothes to weather a snow blizzard, wind chills, icy rains, sub-zero temperatures, and even bright, sunny days. The key to keeping your loved one warm and safe during the cold season is to choose clothes that suit their activity for the day.
Help them arrange their wardrobe, emphasizing layers that can be put together effortlessly. Ensure the snow boots are free of wear and tear, have good traction, and keep the feet warm and dry. Invest in thick, water, snow, and wind-resistant long jackets that have the advantage of trapping body heat.
Buy a few pairs of colorful woolen socks that your loved one can wear indoors and outdoors. Ensure their winter accessories are well stocked and maintained, including shawls, scarfs, gloves, ear warmers, winter hats, etc. Keep a few pairs of thermal wear in the wardrobe for those extra chilly days.
If your aged parents have health conditions that require prescription medications, stock up on the refills after consulting with your loved one’s physician. Some pharmacies offer refill reminders and medicine drop-off services to avoid the possibility of missing or skipping medications due to lousy weather or the risk of falling outdoors during the snow season.
Cold, dry air outside and warm, dry air inside can exacerbate the dryness in your body. While you can combat dehydration by sipping warm water frequently or including soups in your meal, the excessive dryness in the environment can cause or worsen existing health conditions, including sore and cracked skin, itching, and breathing issues.
Install an excellent portable humidifier that your loved one can quickly transfer within rooms. A humidifier is a great purchase to ensure a restful sleep at night by keeping the air cool and moist.
Heater and Driveway Maintenance
It is easy for older people to get frostbite or hypothermia even with mild exposure to cold. As you age, your body’s ability to respond to change in weather conditions can diminish due to underlying medical conditions.
Keep a mandatory monthly maintenance check on your loved one’s indoor heating system and prevent insulation leaks due to cracks or fissures in the windows or basement.
Similarly, enlist a professional snow removal service in the area to ensure your elderly relative’s driveway, pathway, and home entrance is free of snow and residual ice to prevent the risk of falling.
Pantry and Personal Care Essentials
To prevent last-minute runs during poor weather conditions, create a weekly ritual to check on their pantry and personal care essentials stock with your loved one. You can also install and teach your loved one to use local grocery delivery applications to order essentials on the go.
Local Weather App
Pin a local weather app onto your loved one’s mobile phone or laptop. It will help keep track of the daily weather conditions to plan their activities ahead of time.
For complete peace of mind, you can also hire a professional caregiver to check up on your loved one on a regular schedule. The caregiver can also assist in meal prep, medication reminders, driving them to appointments or shopping, personal care, grooming, etc.
If you are looking for additional support to meet the changing needs of your family member, please reach out to us at: www.affinityseniorcare.com or call Affinity at 248-363-8430. We will be happy to answer your questions and provide you with information and resources on specialized home health care.