We’re officially into autumn, and that means it’s time to start preparing for the cold. And that includes making sure your senior loved ones are also ready. Covid precautions mean much of this may have to be done remotely, or via aides or orderlies, but the earlier you start, the better.
- Clothing check. Do they have warm sweaters or coats? Quality gloves, hats, scarves & footwear? Do they have all of these things in enough variety to get them through the cold months? Remember, most clothing stores start phasing out winter gear just after Christmas, so your safest bet is to shop early.
- Vehicle check. When was the last time their car was serviced or inspected? Are their fluid levels appropriate? If you’re in a particularly cold or snowy climate, you may want to get snow tires put on. Make sure they have the right winter gear in their cars; things like ice scrapers, snow brushes, and even a jug of cheap kitty litter to give them a little more traction if needed.
- Home Safety check. When was the heating system last checked? If they use oil heat or natural gas bottles, when were those last topped off? If they live independently, is there someone who will shovel driveways/walkways for them? Do they have any sort of home alert system in case something does go wrong?
- Winter Activities check. If they’re in a residential facility, do they have any activities planned? Winter can be tough at the best of times, but with Covid restrictions in place, normal events and pastimes may not be possible. Does the facility have any replacement activities in mind? The same basic question also applies if they live independently; inquire about hobbies or pastimes, and provide some new ones if possible.
The cold months are always tough, and this year will be tougher than most. But some preparation now can make the season easier on everybody.
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