Many of us find enjoyment outside in the cold air, but too much cold can be harmful to our senior loved ones – and in some cases even deadly.
Being cold outside is one thing but we need to keep it outside, particularly when our loved ones are especially susceptible to its dangers.
The calendar may not have declared it to be winter yet, but you can’t tell from the weather across the US! Yes, the cold weather has arrived for many people and even snow for some. Is your senior loved one ready for the cold?
Here are some tips to help you keep your loved ones warm this winter.
Properly Working Heating System
- Test the heating system to make sure it is operating properly.
- Adjust the thermostat settings to the desired temperature range to keep your loved one comfortable.
- Change the filters if needed to assure proper air flow. If in doubt about how long they’ve been there, go ahead and change them.
- Check air vents to make sure they aren’t covered or blocked.
- Make sure your loved one has the money to pay the bills – an important point that’s often overlooked. After all, a working system is no good if your senior loved one doesn’t run it for fear of getting a high bill!
Tightly Sealed Home
- Make sure all windows are closed tightly after being opened for the comfortable fall weather. Be sure to check the top and bottom for tight closure.
- If the house has storm windows, be sure those are properly installed.
- Check the caulking around windows to make sure the cold outdoor air stays there. Likewise weatherstripping around doors.
- Look for any other places cold air might get in, such as under doors (install door sweeps if needed).
Warm Clothing & Wraps
- Check to see if your senior loved one has warm indoor and outdoor clothing that fits. Remember, it may be stored away since last winter.
- Make sure there are sufficient blankets where your loved one will need them. Carrying large heavy blankets from room to room can create tripping hazards for seniors.
- Get out the slippers and replace them if needed. Warm feet and firm footing are both key.
Other Important Checks
- Make sure sprinkler systems are turned off when the weather turns freezing to avoid icy walkways.
- Arrange help for your loved one in shoveling snow off walkways and driveways, if needed, to avoid over-exertion and exposure to the cold.
- Check fireplaces for proper ventilation.
- If your senior loved one lives alone, check in regularly.