It’s the season for extreme weather in many parts of the country, and there’s no better time to get ready for a tough winter storm than in the late fall. If your aging mom or dad lives at home and relies on you and a home care services provider for their daily needs, they must also depend on you to help prepare them and their home for a winter storm.
More than any other age group, elderly adults have a far higher risk of getting injured, ill or even dying during a winter storm for several reasons. Often, they are unable to make adequate preparations for a storm due to poor mobility and age-related conditions. You and others in their support group, like friends, clergy, neighbors, and home care services providers, can be proactive in getting your aging parent and their home all ready for the next big storm.
Your aging mom or dad will need supplies to last at least three to seven days in the event of a major blizzard. Gather food that is non-perishable and easily stored without refrigeration. Focus on food that your loved one likes that doesn’t need to be cooked. Also, don’t forget about pet food if your aging parent has a dog or cat. Other supplies in the event of a power outage include a flashlight, battery-powered radio, bottled water, extra medicine, warm blankets, and a first aid kit.
Winter-proof the Home
Your aging parent will be spending a lot of time indoors so take steps to ensure it is cozy and secure against foul weather. Insulate water pipes to prevent them from freezing and bursting. To weatherproof doors and windows, use a range of draft stoppers. Change out the furnace filter and program the thermostat to start up when a certain temperature is detected. Reverse ceiling fans to circulate warm air close to the ceiling downward. Also, stock up on ice melt and cat litter for treating the front sidewalk and driveway. When the winter storm hits, the home will be a protective shelter from the elements.
Seniors need multiple light layers to stay comfortable while at home during a winter storm. Many elderly adults have lost the insulating layers of tissue, making it harder for them to regulate body temperature. They also lose a lot of feeling in the extremities, so they don’t sense cold as quickly as others might. Investing in a winter wardrobe that will keep your elderly parent warm can make the winter months more tolerable. Pay particular attention to the extremities—head, hands and feet. This is especially important if there is no power during the storm, and therefore no heat.
Cold weather often prevents people from connecting with others, especially elderly adults. If a storm is coming and your aging parent lives at home, arrange for yourself or other family members to stay with them for the duration of the storm. Home care services providers are another option for companionship. Your elderly parent will need your help more than ever once the storm passes and they need to dig out.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Dover MA, or anywhere in Eastern Massachusetts, please call the caring staff at CARE Resolutions – (508) 906-5572.
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