Home Tips to Prepare for Winter Weather
Fall is here, and that means winter is just around the corner, with cold temperatures, icy walkways and gloomy skies. Here, the homecare specialists at Avila Home Care detail ways to help prepare you or your elderly loved one for impending winter weather.
Check Outdoor Areas
Fall is the perfect time to have a routine outdoor inspection performed, ensuring that the property is safe, and free from potential hazards. Inspect and clean gutters, so that water can be properly diverted from the roof, preventing the formation of icicles. Ensure that rainspouts and drainage pipes are well-fitted, and moving water away from walkways that could freeze and become a serious hazard. Walkways should also be kept free of clutter, to further prevent falls—one thing that should be kept near to walkways, however, is sand or other de-icing agents, which should be spread prior to impending storms or frost. Replace any flickering or burned-out lightbulbs with fresh ones—illuminated walkways make a major difference in preventing falls.
Inspect Indoor Living Spaces
Proper heating and ventilation systems are critical come wintertime, and should be inspected to ensure they are working well. If there is a fireplace in the home, it should be thoroughly cleaned, and the chimney should be inspected for bird’s nests and other debris. Check fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, and replace old batteries. Thermostats should be set at a minimum of 65˚F, to ensure pipes do not freeze and maintain adequate body temperature. If stand-alone heaters are used, make sure they are situated at least three feet from curtains, drapes, couches, rugs and any other flammable materials. Never leave heaters on when away from home, or overnight—use blankets instead. Electric blankets are a known fire hazard, and traditional blankets should be used in their place.
Prepare a Winter Safety Kit
Every home, especially those of the elderly, should have a winter safety kit, kept in an easy-to-reach place. This kit should include everything one would realistically need in case of a power outage or major winter storm, such as: flashlight, batteries, non-perishable food and water bottles (enough to last at least three days), a blanket, gloves, a hat, candles, matches, a radio and a seven-day supply of prescription medication, if applicable. This will help keep one safe until the storm passes or power is restarted.
Speak to Avila Home Care About Retaining One of Their Dedicated Caretakers
Many elderly people live alone in their own home, and while this is a wonderful way to maintain independence and freedom, it can mean isolation in inclement winter months. If loved ones do not live nearby, this isolation is intensified. At Avila Home Care, we wish for every elderly person the chance to experience the benefits of aging in place, without sacrificing community and safety. Our dedicated homecare providers are available for any task, large or small, that helps the elderly successfully age in place. This winter, let Avila help you or your loved one’s enjoy the golden years to the fullest. For more information, call us today!
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