Home Care Tips: Protecting Seniors in Times of Extreme Cold
Home Care in Monroe NJ
With the winter weather on its way it is important to start turning your attention to making protecting your seniors from extreme cold part of your home care journey. Elderly adults experience cold much more intensively than younger adults, and can even suffer from hypothermia in conditions in which younger adults would not feel overly cold. This makes it even more important that you take the time to prepare your parents, their home, their in home health care services provider, and your routine for the event of very cold temperatures. This preparation can ensure that your loved ones do not suffer serious injury or illness during these cold months and can continue living a comfortable, happy, healthy lifestyle during this time of year.
Use these tips to help you prepare and protect your elderly loved ones in times of extreme cold:
• Make sure their home is ready. A house that seems secure and solid can actually have many places that allow in cold air. This makes the indoor space colder and forces your parents’ heating system to work harder, increasing their utility bills and making the risk higher that their system will fail during the season. Go through the home checking windows, doors, and vents to make sure that there are no drafts, and amend them as quickly as possible. Consider hiring a professional to add insulation to the attic if there is none.
• Make them a cold weather kit. When the snow, ice, and sleet start building up, you do not want to be frantically looking around for a snow shovel. Make sure that they have everything they need so that someone can keep their walkway, porch, and driveway clear. This kit should include a snow shovel, gloves, de-icer such as rock salt or an environmentally friendly alternative, sand or cat litter to increase traction, and a car windshield scraper.
• Keep them cozy. Ensure your loved ones have what they need to stay warm and cozy in their home even when the temperatures outside drop frightfully low. This includes making sure that they have enough warm clothing, including thick socks, and easily accessible blankets. Review heating safety issues with them, including never using the oven or the dryer to heat up the home, and never leaving a space heater unattended. If necessary, disconnect their oven so that they cannot make this dangerous mistake.
• Make a network. Even exceptionally active, independent seniors can fall victim to cold snaps. Create a network of support and encouragement that includes people who can check in on your seniors throughout the day to make sure that they are doing well, neighbors who can stop by and visit for a while, and a home care provider who can offer extra assistance and supervision to make sure that your seniors are getting everything that they need to stay healthy and safe.
Get in touch with the elder care agency in your area to find out about the emergency services available for aging adults during periods of extreme cold, including warming shelters and evacuation routes in case of severe weather.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring home care services in Monroe, NJ or the surrounding areas, please call Independence Home Care today at 609-208-1111 for more information.