Getting an Older Adult and Their Home Winter Ready

Getting an Older Adult and Their Home Winter Ready
From changing leaves to falling temperatures, the signs of winter are starting to make their appearance. If you are the caregiver for a senior loved one, now is the time to prepare for the cold, snowy days ahead. Taking a few extra precautions now can help to prevent a crisis this winter.

If you aren’t certain where or how to start, this handy checklist can act as your guide.

Preparing a Senior and Their Home for Winter

Winterizing a Home

Here is a list of the household tasks you should complete before the snow begins to fly this winter:

  • Have the furnace inspected
  • Test smoke detectors
  • Check the carbon monoxide detector
  • Have the fireplace/chimney cleaned
  • Install storm windows if the home has them
  • Do a visual inspection of the roof
  • Have the gutters cleaned to prevent ice jams
  • Drain hoses and turn off outdoor faucets
  • Have the sprinkler system winterized and turned off
  • Hire a snow removal company to clear the drive and walkways
  • Reverse the ceiling fan to push hot air down
  • Check weather stripping around windows and doors
  • Mulch any remaining leaves and spread on flower beds
  • Pack away outdoor pots and garden art
  • Cover or store patio furniture
  • Test the sump pump or hire someone to inspect it

Also make time to help your senior loved one prepare themselves for the winter days ahead.

Winter Safety Preparations for Older Adults

Here are a few ways you can create a safer winter for a senior family member:

  • Stock up on basic essentials, such as nonperishable food items (peanut butter, crackers, canned meats) and bottled water.
  • Assemble an emergency kit in case the power goes out. Include items like flashlights, extra batteries, a handheld can opener, blankets, paper towels, and trash bags.
  • Ensure your family member can stay in touch by investing in a battery-operated cell charger. A battery-operated or hand-crank emergency weather radio is another good investment.
  • Remind the senior not to let prescription medications get too low. Keeping a few extra days of both prescription and over-the-counter medications is important during winter months.
  • Schedule a maintenance appointment for the car, if the senior has a vehicle. The automotive professional will check fluid levels, tires, brakes, and more.

Spend the Winter with Us

One final tip for older adults who live in northern climates is to consider a short-term stay at a senior living community. Five Star Senior Living communities offer respite care for a few weeks or even a month. Your senior loved one can be our guest and escape the worst of the winter.

Respite guests enjoy the same services and benefits as long-term residents. From transportation to nutritious meals and daily social activities, it’s like a vacation for them and peace of mind for loved ones. Call us at  (617) 796-8387 to learn more!