Prepare Your Home for the Winter
Winter has arrived, and many seniors are preparing for the cold months. Preparation includes more than just buying firewood!
Today, you’ll learn important winter home preparation tips for seniors that will help you stay healthy and happy this season.
Change Your Wardrobe to Warmer Clothes
One of the most important things you can do to prepare your home for winter is to change your wardrobe. Wear clothes that are made from warmer, more insulating fabrics like wool. Be sure to also swap out lighter fall jackets for heavier ones that provide greater warmth.
You may also want to opt for cozy slippers and socks to keep your feet warm. If you tend to feel cold, consider wearing a hat, scarf, and gloves inside your house as well.
Check Your Heating System
Test your vehicle’s heating system and make sure it’s in good working order. Schedule a maintenance checkup with a qualified technician if necessary.
If you’re using a space heater, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Never use an electric space heater in your bathroom or bedroom. Also, don’t place space heaters directly on carpeting because it could catch fire.
If you use an electric blanket at night, make sure to read the instructions carefully and unplug when not in use. Keep anything flammable away from heating devices like radiators, open flames (candles), or portable heaters that are placed too close to any fabric surfaces (curtains, furniture).
Address Any Car Maintenance Issues
Before winter hits, practice some important care maintenance best practices, such as:
Get an Oil Change if You Haven’t in a While
Dirty oil doesn’t work well in cold weather, so it’s important to get a fresh oil change before winter sets in. This will help your engine run smoothly during these months.
Check Your Tire Pressure
Low tire pressure can be dangerous during the winter months, so be sure to check your tires and fill them with the right amount of air if necessary. Inspect them for any signs of an air leak as well and make an appointment with a reliable mechanic if you notice a flat or leaking tire.
Make Sure Your Tires Aren’t Worn Down
If your tire treads are excessively worn down, it’s time to get new ones. Bald tires cannot grip the road effectively for safe travel in the wintertime.
Check Your Battery
Driving in the snow and ice requires more energy from your car battery than driving in warmer conditions. The average car battery will last three years, so if you are near this or over, make an appointment to replace it with a new one.
If the Heat in Your Car Doesn’t Work, Repair It
If the heat in your car doesn’t work, it’s important to get it fixed as soon as possible. Not only will you be uncomfortable while driving, but a lack of heat can be dangerous if you are stranded in your vehicle.
Prepare an Emergency Car Kit
An emergency car survival kit is a good idea for any wintertime trip, but it’s especially important if you’re traveling in the snow and ice. Winter weather can be unpredictable!
Include items like:
- Jumper cables
- A road flare kit
- Ice scraper
- A spare pair of gloves and winter hat
- Hand warmers
- A small broom
- Sand or cat litter to help give your tires extra traction
Prepare for Power Outages
It is also a good idea to prepare your home for winter emergencies, such as broken heating systems or power outages that can leave you without electricity. You may want to purchase some extra blankets just in case!
You may also want to consider stocking up on any daily essentials like food, medications, water, batteries, and matches so you don’t run out during a snowstorm or other cold-weather emergency situation.
In the event you might lose power during a snowstorm or other emergency, purchasing a portable generator can help power a space heater or other electronic devices if you are unable to leave your home immediately.
Make Sure Your Walkways Are Cleared of Ice
Icy sidewalks, porches, and driveways can increase the dangers of falls for seniors. Purchase some ice melt from a local store and sprinkle it over your shoveled walkway after it has been cleared. This will reduce or eliminate the ice on these paths and allow you to move with a significantly lower risk of slipping.
Ask Your Neighbors for Help
If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed with all of the winter home preparation tasks, don’t be afraid to ask your neighbors for help. They may be able to shovel your driveway or sidewalks, take out your trash on garbage day, or just check in with you when a snowstorm passes through your neighborhood.
Stay Healthy During the Winter by Continuing Your Home Healthcare Checkups
During the winter months, it is especially important to stay healthy and maintain your regular healthcare checkups. Winter conditions can put seniors at a higher risk for health complications like pneumonia or even dehydration if you’re outside long enough or exposed to extremely cold temperatures. Weather changes can also worsen asthma symptoms and other breathing problems.
At Ohioans, we provide compassionate at-home healthcare to seniors in Ohio and Michigan year-round, even in the coldest months. For more information on how we can help you or your loved one stay healthy and cared for this winter, contact us anytime for more information.