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How Seniors Can "Winter Proof" Their Homes

Updated 8/5/15 9:13am | Although winter isn’t here yet, Alert1 wants to help prepare you and your aging loved ones for the upcoming winter months. A wintry chill is approaching and will be on us soon before we know it. Take the autumn months to get ready for winter and “winter proof” your home. Many caregivers often overlook winter safety measures for seniors. Simple steps now can save you lots of time and hassle in the winter months. Seniors may need to ask for help from a neighbor or family member with some of the listed tasks.

Keep non-perishable foods, extra medications, water, blankets, flashlights and batteries on hand. Be sure to stow these items securely, so aging loved ones can effectively manage their medication. If this is not possible, make arrangements now to have your extra food, water and medications delivered. Door delivery online for seniors is a far more efficient method. Your loved ones can avoid having to personally transport the emergency rations, and stay in the safety and warmth of their home.

emergency kit. alert1 medical alert systems

Have your house “winterized” to keep the cold air out. Walls and attics should be insulated and doors and windows should have weather strips installed. Regularly monitor the heat settings in seniors’ homes to make sure they’re warm. Be sure all heat vents, space heaters or radiators are unobstructed by furniture and other items. Caregivers should regularly monitor the heat as any slight drop in temperature can cause aging loved ones to develop hypothermia.

stove. alert1 medical alert systems

Clean your gutters out in the fall, so when rainstorms hit your gutters are already working properly. If your gutters are clogged in the winter, you’re more likely to see an ice dam build up. The overflowing water runoff will create icicles that are hazardous. For this any many other reasons, make sure your senior stays inside during and after a winter storm. This will make sure your senior won’t slip on wet or icy surfaces. Even if your loved one thinks it’s safe to drive, see if you can arrange for a ride with a door-to-door senior transport service.

icicles. alert1 medical alert systems

As water freezes, it expands and applies a great amount of pressure on whatever is containing it. If you live in an area that gets below freezing, make sure you know where to turn off your water in case your pipes burst. The pipes that freeze most often are ones in direct contact with extremely cold temperatures. These pipes can be in crawl spaces, attics, garages, kitchen cabinets etc.  Caregivers and seniors may consider insulating these pipes or having a professional relocate exposed pipes.

water pipe. alert1 medical alert systems

If you drive, prepare your vehicle for winter. Know that in icy and snowy conditions, arriving safely at your destination isn’t always guaranteed. Check wipers, tires, lights and fluid levels regularly. Be sure to test your brakes and make sure your tires have adequate traction; we recommend snow chains for icy and slick surfaces. Make sure you’re protected with a mobile medical alert system for seniors that are out and about during winter.  Remember that if your trip is non-essential, you can always postpone it until weather conditions improve. 

frozen side view mirror. alert1 medical alert systems

Do not shovel snow or walk in deep snow. Over exerting yourself in the cold is not good for your health. Make sure to ask a family member or friend to help. Keep a list of local professionals who clear icy sidewalks for your neighborhood. If you’re still worried, get a fall detection alert system for your aging loved ones. That way your loved one will receive immediate attention in the instance of an accident or medical emergency.

snowy street. alert1 medical alert systems

Winter isn’t always the glorious wonderland from the Christmas carols. Many severe winter threats that can be kept at bay if you prepare for them. Caregivers need to regularly check in and lend a hand to a senior friend or family member. Precautionary measures now can prevent the likelihood of personal injury or home related incident. The extreme winter conditions affect us all, but extra support and a helping hand can help your aging loved ones stay safe