Winter is Coming: How to Help Older Adults Prepare for the Cold

Winter is coming, and as temperatures begin to drop, now is a great time to be proactive and start preparing you and your older adult loved ones for the colder months ahead. Here are some quick and simple tips to help you out.

Always be prepared for bad weather. Check carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, replace the batteries and make sure they work using the test button. Have your heating system and chimneys cleaned and inspected. Install storm windows or cover the inside wide of the windows with plastic sheets to keep cold air out. Most hardware stores sell affordable home winterization kits. Buy rock salt in advance that can cover icy steps and walkways. If you have fallen in the past or are afraid you may slip, ask a neighbor or relative to do this. Don’t leave a hose attached to an outside faucet; this will help prevent pipes from freezing.

When you go outside, and it is very cold, wear layers and have a good coat, thick socks, hat, gloves, boots and scarf. If your clothes get wet, make sure you get into dry ones. When traveling to the store or a community center, bring a spare set of socks.

In the event of a major snow storm or ice storm, make sure your pantry has non-perishable items, such as canned soup and vegetables, and evaporated milk. These items can be critical until warmer temperatures make it less dangerous to go outside. Also check to see if you have enough medicine, especially if you need insulin, or other drugs for a chronic condition, such as heart disease.

If you still drive, always check the weather forecast first. If you have a mechanic or dealer you trust, ask them to check the tires, wipers and antifreeze. Put an emergency kit in the car, a warm blanket and kitty litter. Check if your cell phone is charged and your car charger is working. When going on a trip, make sure the tank is full.

For more information on home safety, call an aging lifecare professional. You can visit www.aginglifecare.org. For more information about Senior Care Advisors, please call 215-470-9010 or visit www.seniorcareadvisorsllc.net. Happy Holidays and be safe!


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