winterweather-300x201With winter bearing down on much of the country, severe weather — snow, freezing temperatures, ice, or heavy rains — greatly impacts the safety and well-being of the elderly. Here are some tips from the experts in aging well, Aging Life Care Association™ to help aging adults get ready for winter weather.
• Stay Informed and sign-up for severe weather alerts through your local city or state resource
• Refill prescriptions and have an extra supply of other medical necessities
• Buy extra food, including non-perishables, and bottled water (and don’t forget pet food or supplies if needed)
• Keep vehicles filled with gas and have tires checked for safety
• Clear debris from downspouts and gutters
• Have trees inspected and remove any dead limbs
• Have evacuation routes planned with identified medical centers
• Identify an individual or company to shovel snow from driveways, stairs
• Make sure outside furnace vents are clear and carbon monoxide alarms are working
• Inspect outside plumbing, insulating any exposed pipes

Prepare for Power Outages
• If using oxygen, bi-pap, c-pap or other equipment, you will need a generator
• Purchase battery operated, plug-in lights that automatically turn on when the power goes out
• Make sure you have working flashlights within reach and extra batteries
• Keep cell phones charging so you have a full charge at power loss

Plan for Caregivers
• If you rely on caregivers, consider the following:
• Arrange for a live-in caregiver
• Build a relationship with neighbors that may be able to temporarily fill-in
• Plan temporary or respite stay with a nursing home, assisted living community, or hospice

• Keep areas around space heaters clear
• Use space heaters with automatic shut-off
• Gas stoves or ovens should never be used as a heating source
• Do not attempt to climb ladders
• Do not walk on frozen stairs, sidewalks, or driveways

With knowledge of local resources, An Aging Life Care Professional™ can build an emergency weather plan for your aging loved one.

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