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Tips to Help Your Elderly Loved One in the Winter
There is a lot to do to prepare for wintry weather and conditions, especially for your elderly loved one. If you plan, you can ensure that you cover all the bases. These are some tips for getting ready for inclement weather.
Set Up an Emergency Kit
Storms are a reality during winter. A well-stocked emergency kit should include non-perishable food, bottled water, battery powered radio, extra batteries, flashlights, blankets, a first aid kit, and any medications that your loved one might need to take with her during an evacuation. Make sure that you let home care providers know where the kit is in case it’s ever necessary when you aren’t around.
Check Emergency Lighting
Power can go out when you least expect it, so it’s important to have emergency lighting options for your elderly loved one. Candles and flashlights are both dependable choices, better yet is having a mix of each. Ensure that you let your loved one know where each are stored. It’s useful to put a flashlight in each room. Double check the batteries once a month to make sure that the flashlights are working when they’re needed.
Get Fireplaces and Chimneys Checked
As colder weather rolls in, it’s important to make sure that all sources of backup heating are in good working order. Chimneys and fireplaces can be dangerous if they’re clogged or haven’t been cleaned in a while. Contact an expert in those matters to make sure that everything is in good working order before you need to use the fireplace. Make sure that firewood and other necessary items are handy and easy for your elderly loved one to get to if they need to start a fire when you’re not present.
Check Smoke and other Detectors
Hand in hand with the fireplace being in good working order, it’s time to make sure that smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and any other detectors are in good working order as well. If you can’t remember when you changed the batteries in any of these devices, then it’s time that you go ahead and change them.
Check the Car
Driving during the winter can be hazardous, but it is especially dangerous for older people, who may not drive as often anymore or whose reflexes may not be as quick as they once were. Checking things like the oil, tires, battery and wipers can make a big difference on winter roads.
Wintertime certainly poses challenges for seniors, but with a bit of planning and awareness, you can rest a little easier about the cold weather to come.
For other tips the CDC offers more information. Click here