Many people look forward to a reprieve from the extreme heat of summer once autumn rolls around. But a change of the seasons also means putting in extra time around the house to prepare for winter. Similar to the concept of “Spring Cleaning,” following a winter check list can help you winterize your senior loved one’s home before the colder months arrive.
Prepare an Indiana Senior’s Home for Winter
Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Shut Off Outside Water Taps
Seniors who love to spend time in their garden during the warmer months must take extra steps to ensure that they don’t experience frozen or burst pipes during the Indiana winter.
If there is a hose line running from a gardening shed or basement water connection, or if they have an underground sprinkler system on their property, taking the time to vacate those pipes of standing water before the winter can help protect against major headaches when cold weather arrives.
Any pipes that are non-insulated and have the potential to be exposed to the elements should be cleared of water before the first freeze.
The furnace is responsible for keeping the home warm in the colder months. It’s easy to forget about it until the heat goes out unexpectedly. Just like humans, a furnace needs a regular checkup
to ensure that it is working properly--from routine maintenance, to changing filters and checking for any leaks. An HVAC repairman will be able to inspect the furnace to make sure it is in tip-top shape before the chill of winter sets in.
Replenish Backup Supplies
Whenever TV meteorologists predict a big blizzard or storm will roll in to Indiana, people go into panic mode. The night before the supposed storm, supermarkets are bombarded with people looking to stock up on emergency supplies.
To avoid the crowds and sparse shelves at the local grocery stores, create your own emergency supplies before the winter comes:
Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
- Medications. This is especially important if your senior loved one takes prescription pills. Missing a dose can be dangerous. Try to have a month’s supply ahead of time to ensure your older family member won’t run out in an emergency.
- Bottled Water and Food Staples. Bottled water is always the first thing to sell out during a “snowpocalypse.” Keeping a case of water bottles tucked away in their home is important. Also keep a few days stash of non-perishable food on hand.
- Batteries. D, AA and AAA batteries are good to have on hand because they can keep the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors working and keep flashlights powered through a blackout.
- Flashlight. Be sure to keep flashlights in places that are easy to safely access in the dark, including near the senior’s bed and favorite chair.
Smoke detectors can reduce the risk of dying in a fire
by 50 percent and carbon monoxide detectors help reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in the home. Make sure the senior you love has both in their home. Regularly test them to make sure they are in working order.
Plan for Snow Removal
Snow shoveling and navigating icy walks can be dangerous for seniors. Before the snow flies, make sure you have a snow removal plan in place for their home. If you aren’t sure how to find a reliable company to work with, call the local Indiana Agency on Aging. They may be able to offer a few recommendations.
Keeping Seniors Safe
For additional tips on senior safety, including how to assess an older adult’s home, download our free Senior Safety Guide