When the temperature begins to drop in the fall, most people begin thinking forward to the holidays and the first snows of winter. For family members who are taking care of elder loved ones, this can mean ensuring their health and safety–including planning ahead for winter for the first time.
If this sounds like you, here is your guide to getting ready for your first winter caring for an aging loved one. By the time you finish reading, you’ll be ready for the first snow to hit!
Keep Pathways Clear and Clean
Slip and fall injuries are a top concern for seniors. To prevent them, keep rock salt or sand on hand for driveways and walkways, and shovel or hire a clearing service when possible. Never allow seniors to shovel drives themselves and help them when walking outdoors.
Stock Up on Food and Medication
Make sure your senior loved one never goes hungry or is left without vital medication if snow leaves you trapped at home. Stock up ahead of time if snow is predicted.
Keep Things Warm and Safe
Seniors get cold more easily than younger people might, so be sure that vehicles and your home are warm, and that blankets are easily accessible during the winter.
It is important too, though, to ensure that exposed heating elements – such as furnace rails and vents that become hot to the touch – are buffered from contact with hands and feet. Seniors also have thinner and more sensitive skin, making burns easier and more damaging for them. Prevent burns by protecting their skin from exposure to extreme heat.
Still need help winter-proofing your home and keeping things safe for your family and elder loved ones? Consult the Washington DC home health care services providers at Capital City Nurses. They can help you make preparing for winter easier than you ever thought possible!
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