It’s a good idea to begin now to prepare for a cold winter. Taking steps to ensure that your senior loved one has enough warm winter clothing and the appropriate cold-weather health staples like canned chicken soup and plenty of vitamin C are important. However, don’t forget to include winterizing the home in your plans to prepare for winter.
Here are a few areas you will want to consider when you are winterizing the home of your senior loved one.
Exterior: When it comes to the exterior, winterizing your loved one’s home can be a lot of work, but these steps will pay off in utility savings and peace of mind.
- Use weather strips and caulk on windows and doors to prevent draftiness in the house, and seal any holes that could allow critters from coming in with your loved one during the winter.
- Insulate pipes that could freeze during the winter, and clean out gutters and spouts to make sure water is cleared to flow away from the house.
- If your area will reach temperatures below 32 degrees, consider adding extra insulation in the attic.
- Prepare for icy sidewalks and driveways by keeping ice-melt salt or sand stocked. Locate the snow shovel and keep it handy so that you are not trudging through snow and ice to reach it.
Interior: When winterizing the home, don’t forget about the interior.
- Check the furnace to be sure it is in good working order. Clear out any materials that might be a fire hazard.
- Install or check carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, storing extra batteries for both.
- Clean the fireplace and have wood stored in a convenient place where you or your loved one can easily access it.
- Check the fire extinguisher. If your loved one does not have a fire extinguisher, purchase it and teach them how to use it.
Winter emergency kits: This is a great time to be sure that you and your loved one are prepared for a winter emergency. Ice and snow storms can result in a power outage or the need to stay home for several days. Be sure that you are prepared:
- Create a home emergency kit, including extra water bottles, candles, matches or lighters, and flashlights with extra batteries in case there is a power outage.
- A home kit should also include non-perishable food items.
- Your loved one’s bedside table should have a flashlight in case of a power outage.
- Keep a car emergency kit, too. Snacks, flashlights and a cell phone charger are helpful if you are stranded due to inclement weather or a car problem. A warm change of clothes and a blanket may also be welcome additions.
Winterizing the home is an important step to keep your loved one safe this season. If you have questions about how to do any of these steps, or if you need assistance winterizing the home, give Freudenthal Home Health a call. We specialize in providing support to you and your loved one.