The winter season can be a perilous one for seniors. However, with a little foresight and smart preparation, winter can become just as fun and safe as any other season.
When it comes to keeping elderly safe during the cold, winter months- there are a number of categories to consider- physical, emotional, mental, and medical. In this article, we’ve created a comprehensive list broken down by category to help you better prepare your senior for the upcoming winter months.
Treat this as your winter prep checklist- print it, read it, and check it off as you go!
Is your senior safe physically?
- Check for cold drafts creeping in from windows and doors.
- Make sure the heat is working.
- Make sure the hot water is working.
- Keep extra blankets and throw blankets on hand.
- Be sure your senior has plenty of warm clothes for layering.
- Get your senior a pair of non-slip shoes or boots.
- Even out the driveway if there are any holes or dips.
- Buy salt for melting ice and snow on the driveway and steps.
- If you have a fireplace, stock up on wood. If not, buy some candles for emergencies.
Is your senior safe emotionally?
- Sign up your senior for virtual activities and events.
- Encourage your senior to nurture friendships within the community.
- Check-in with your senior on how he or she is feeling about the upcoming months.
- Listen to what your senior wants or needs.
- Set up a visiting schedule with family and friends so your senior never gets left alone for too long.
- Consider hiring a professional caregiver to check-in on your senior’s safety and emotional stability.
Is your senior safe mentally?
- Buy your senior plenty of fun, mentally challenging activities to do around the house (think: puzzles, memory games, books, word games, and strategy games).
- Encourage your senior to move around and stay active, even if just within the house.
- Find new concepts and information for your senior to learn.
- Consider hiring a therapist to check-in on your senior’s mental health every now and again.
- Consider hiring an at-home aide to keep the house tidy and serene.
Is your senior safe medically?
- Make sure your senior is up-to-date on his or her routine medical checkups.
- Be sure your senior has a way to get to medical appointments even during the cold months.
- Get refills for your senior’s medications.
- Stock up your senior’s refrigerator and pantry with healthy, nutritious foods.
- If your senior uses a walker, cane, or other mobile accessory- be sure it’s working well and easily for your senior.
- Help your senior’s breathing with an air purifier and some pretty house plants.
- Look into the benefits of a humidifier for the dry, winter months.
- Protect your senior’s skin from dry heating with moisturizer, Vaseline, or oils.