It’s officially Fall, and for many of us that means cooler temperatures, shorter days, and darker evenings. As homeowners, there are certain things that need to be done to prepare for the coming season.
Some seniors that are receiving elder care may need help around the house to get it in order for the colder days and nights. If your senior has hired caregivers from an elder care agency, consider asking them to do some of these things around the house to help your senior, especially if they have mobility issues that prevent them from doing more physical tasks at home.
Here are a few things to do to help prepare your senior’s home for the colder seasons:
Disconnect garden hoses. If your senior lives in an area that is prone to freezing temperatures, it is suggested that you be sure and disconnect any garden hoses from the house to prevent the freezing of trapped water which can cause damage to your senior’s house. Make sure that all exterior water faucets are closed and that there are no drips or leaks.
Inspect furnace and hot water heater. When the temperatures drop and the air gets cold, the last thing you would want is for your senior to have issues with their furnace or their hot water heater. As your senior prepares for the changing season, it’s a great time to have these things inspected. It’s also a good time to change out the filter on their furnace, too.
Change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. This is an important tip in ensuring the safety of your senior parent or loved one. Make sure that they not only have working units for both fire and carbon monoxide protection, but that they have new batteries as well. If they do not have either of these detectors, purchase them or ask their local fire department if they have a program that provides them.
Store summer equipment such as lawn mowers, sprinklers, and fragile flower pots and other garden decor that could be harmed by cold temperatures, freezing, and ice.
Inspect fireplace and chimney. If your senior has a home with a wood burning stove or fireplace, now is a good time to have it inspected for safety and cleaned to be sure it is in good working order. While you are checking, be sure to talk to them about fire safety and remind them and their caregivers where the fire extinguisher is kept.
Rake leaves & clean up yard debris. This is the time of year when leaves and limbs can collect in your senior’s yard. If not removed, they can cause a tripping hazard or cause other damage to the yard or home if left in damp areas over a prolonged period of time.
Make sure the home is properly insulated. Check for leaks and drafts in walls, doorways, and windows and seal up any places where the cooler air is getting through. This will ensure that your senior is kept warm this season and also help their furnace run more efficiently, saving them money too!