How to Help Senior Loved One’s Winterize Their Home
There are many seniors today who have the opportunity to receive care right in the comfort of their own homes. This is a great way for older adults to “age in place” and to get to stay in a familiar environment, instead of going to an assisted living community or nursing home. While there is no denying some of the key benefits of in home care, it is important that family members and loved ones are stepping up to make sure that these homes are safe for their senior loved ones.
During the winter months, home safety not only means keeping the home free of potential fall hazards, but making sure that the home is fully winterized and ready for the colder months ahead. Here are a few ways you can help your senior loved one stay safe and warm this winter by assisting in the winterization of their homes:
- Remove dead limbs from trees in the yard, before they fall
- Clean out the gutters to prevent snow, water and ice backup
- Make sure all of the windows and doors are sealed with weather stripping to keep drafts out and warmth in
- Insulate the pipes or use heat tape to prevent freezing
- Change the furnace filters to make sure they are working and aren’t circulating dust throughout the home
- If the home has a fireplace, make sure to clean out the chimney, before it is used. There may be animals or nests inside.
- Put plastic coverings or weather stripping along the draftiest windows
- Remove any window air conditioners during the winter, they can actually case a lot of hot air to escape the home
- If the home does not have a programmable thermostat, get one installed and keep the heat at the same level during the day, then have it turned down when your loved one sleeps
- Make sure the home is outfitted with plenty of blankets in easy-to-reach and easy-to-find areas so seniors aren’t automatically turning up the heat when they could just grab a blanket
- Have someone come in and tune up any older furnaces
- Stock up on salt for the driveways and walkways around your loved one’s home, it is a great idea to be prepared for snow and ice before it happens and can really help prevent walls
- Shut off and drain the lawn sprinklers or water access to outside spigots
When seniors are receiving in home care and are no longer able to keep up with the daily home maintenance responsibilities, many times things can be left undone. These are all easy ways to make sure that the home is winterized and ready for the colder season ahead, and they are all things that you can do for your senior loved one during this time of the year. By properly winterizing the home, you are not only keeping your loved one’s property safe but you are making sure they stay safe and warm as well.
- Lori Thomas has decades of experience as a caregiver. Her writing for SeniorAdvice.com is informed by years of research as well as hands-on family experience caring for her now late mother, who had chronic health issues for most of her life. Lori is an integral part of the SeniorAdvice.com management team, acting as Vice President of Marketing and Chief Editor.
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