Chances are you have already heard of this popular saying, yet more often than not we still don’t prepare the way we should. While sometimes we can get away with just a little preparation, less is not more when it comes to preparing a home for the unpredictability of winter weather – especially, if that home is your elderly mom and dads. Getting your senior loved ones’ home ready for winter is crucial to prevent accidents and make the winter upkeep easier for you or your senior parents.
With that said, our expert home health aides have put together a few tips on how to properly prepare your senior loved ones’ home for the winter.
Get the Chimney Professionally Cleaned
If your mom or dad has a fireplace or woodstove as the main source of heat in the home, it is top priority to get the chimney professionally cleaned and to check that the damper is working properly. A clogged chimney is a big fire hazard, and a wood stove that isn’t burning efficiently can release carbon monoxide into the air. We recommend installing carbon monoxide detectors throughout the home, if they are not already, or replacing the batteries if they have already been installed.
If your loved one has another type of heating source, scheduling a regular maintenance checkup is highly recommended. In some cases, having regular maintenance can put you on the top of the list if something should go wrong with your heating system during the winter.
Arrange for Ice and Snow Removal
Ice and snow are dangerous for everyone, but especially for seniors with mobility issues. If you can’t be there yourself to clear the walkways and driveways, you can hire someone to tend to your loved ones’ home this winter. It can be as simple as hiring a neighbor or hiring a professional plowing company – whichever option you are most comfortable with.
Equip for Emergencies
With winter comes snow, which can cause the power to go out – or at the very least, keep everyone stuck inside for a few days. Hopefully we will have a mild winter this year, but if mother nature has other plans – it is best practice to ensure mom and dad are equipped with more than the standard “eggs, milk, and bread.” Here’s a quick list to follow:
- Stock the pantry with non-perishable food for a couple of days worth of meals.
- Prepare an emergency kit containing first aid supplies, blankets, extra batteries, flashlights, and a weather radio.
- Pick up extra medications before the storm (In most cases, a pharmacy will give an emergency prescription if a storm is expected).
- Set up a generator for your loved one that could power on automatically,if possible.
Plan for Winter with a UMC Home Health Aide
If you have done all the above but still feel nervous to leave your mom or dad alone during the winter season, a home health aide might be the perfect option for everyone’s peace of mind. With UMC HomeWorks, a dedicated home health aide can come to check in on your loved ones regularly. They can properly ensure mom or dad’s home is prepped by making calls for snow removal services and stocking up on groceries and other home necessities. Not to mention, HomeWorks also offers an option for a live-in home health aide, so regardless of the weather and road conditions, your loved one is never alone and always cared for.
If you have any questions about hiring a UMC Homeworks home health aide for the winter season, please visit our website today at: https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/home-health-aide-services/
This blog was originally published at https://umcommunities.org/homeworks/at-home-care/proper-preparation-prevents-poor-performance/