November 13, 2019
The winter months pose a change for all homeowners, especially for senior homeowners. For those who need extra help, care and have a home health care Omaha caregiver, it is imperative to plan ahead and ensure that your loved one stays warm and safe these winter months.
Our home health care Omaha experts suggest the following tops for Winterizing a senior’s home!
The first couple of inches of snow have fallen in Nebraska, which means, if there is not a plan for your loved one, now is the time! Loved ones, it is important that seniors have access to the following items in case of emergencies:
A phone or emergency medical device/ system
Blankets and winter clothes are easily accessible
A first aid kit
A programmable thermostat
These are the main components needed when helping a loved one to winterize their home, but what are the next steps?
A home assessment allows for a family member or caregiver to understand the current condition of the home. Does the home need to be insulated? Do you need to go grocery shopping for nonperishable items? Is there a way to get to your patient or loved one in emergencies?
All of these are critical questions that should be answered with a plan of action for your patient.
The first step is making sure the furnace is working. It is important to have a furnace inspection conducted to help prevent a furnace failure during the coldest months of the year. Once the furnace passes inspection, make sure to change the filter every three months.
Are all the alarms working in the home? Are the smoke detectors working? If not, is it a simple battery change or an electrical issue?
A frozen pipe or leaking pipe can cause damage to your loved ones home. It is imperative to make sure all outside pipes are turned off during the winter months. If not, this can cause pipes to explode and a basement to fill with water!
Now, what to do about that snow and ice?
It is estimated that the leading cause of death for seniors is falls and the snow and ice create a slippery environment. For many seniors, the hassle of snow removal can cause serious stress.
If this senior is able to leave the home without a caregiver or loved one with them, and the snow and ice are not cleared properly, this can cause slips and falls.
Find or call a reliable snow removal company or contractor who will be able to clear the driveway, walkways and sidewalks. If this is not possible, find a neighbor or teenager who is willing to help if the snow removal company or contractor cannot make it out to your loved ones home.
This allows for the senior to always know someone will clear their driveway, sidewalks and walkways to reduce the chances of falls; on the other hand, if the senior has a home health care Omaha caregiver, this allows for the caregiver to easily get inside and outside of the home.
Prepare for emergencies
In case of an emergency, what is the plan? Is there someone who can come check-up on your loved one? Is there an emergency kit ready for them?
In the Midwest, high winds and snow can cause power outages for hours while the temperature continues to drop! This is where planning ahead becomes imperative for your loved one. It is imperative for loved ones to work with the senior’s caregivers so everyone understands the plan and someone is able to get to the senior.
If you are renting a home and experience any problems during the winter, report them to your landlord. If the landlord ignores your requests, you should report it to the proper authorities like the Omaha Housing Authority or caseworker if you’re on Medicaid.
At Akkase Home Health Care our team of caregivers are always there for your loved ones. As the Winter months are now here, please consider the option of in-home care for your loved one. This will help to keep them safe and give you peace of mind!
For more information on our services we provide, please visit our website!