Winter storms can occur suddenly and be much more severe than was anticipated. Even if you prepared your aging loved one while at to get through this event, there are steps that need to be taken after the storm to preserve safety. Checking the outside of your parent’s home for damages or other effects of the storm enables you to quickly address situations that could become dangerous for your senior. Having elder care providers available during the winter can be useful to keep you parent safe when they do want to venture out.
Take these steps to make sure the outside of your parent’s home is safe after a winter storm:
- Remove ice and snow from the porch, steps, and walkways. Use sand or salt to minimize negative effects on the environment. Be aware of any areas that have restrictions on the use of salt and chemical deicers as they can become part of runoff and contaminate groundwater. Check these restrictions ahead of time so you know how to handle the ice and snow properly.
- Make sure handrails are treated as well. Grabbing an icy handrail can lead to a serious fall and potentially dangerous injuries.
- Once it safe to walk around outside, carefully check any trees that are near your senior’s home to make sure no branches were damaged during the storm. If any seem to have broken off and be a danger to the home, immediately reach out to a tree service to remove the branches.
- If you notice any branches or other issues that have compromised an electrical wire, do not get near the wire, and immediately contact the electric company. Many electric companies have emergency contact numbers that allow you to report these issues so they can be quickly managed. Make sure your senior does not get near the line and does not touch any water or plants near the line.
- Do not try to get out of the driveway just by driving over the snow. This can cause your car to be damaged or to get stranded. Remove snow and ice carefully prior to driving.
Many elderly adults experience increasing needs as they age. Because of the customizable nature of elder care, your parent can feel confident that as their needs increase and change, so will their level of care. As a family caregiver, you want to make sure you are ready to manage any of the new challenges and limitations your senior may experience, and an elder care provider can offer you that confidence.
This elder care provider can step in to manage specific task now, and also prepare your parent and their routine for the potential of future challenges. This can be particularly beneficial for an elderly adult who is experiencing a health issue that will progress, such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease.