Summer never lasts as long as we would like it to and with winter just around the corner, the sunny weather now seems like a distant memory. Even though we know winter comes every year, we almost always seem to forget the essential things we need to prepare ourselves in order to make it through the season safely. This is especially true for seniors living independently. The best way to ensure you have a safe winter is to have the right tools at your disposal and take proactive action!
Here is a small list of basic and very efficient home practices to ensure that you are prepared to tackle the winter season.
The first thing to do is to ensure you have CLEAN and CLEAR pathways and driveways around your entire home. Generally speaking, you always want to make sure this is something you practice around your home but for seniors it is essential for many reasons. Having clean pathways around your property gives you the added confidence to go outside and not have to worry about falling. It also ensures that if you find yourself experiencing any sort of emergency, the first responders can easily access your home. There are a number of reputable snow removal companies operating in the Ottawa area if you require professional assistance.
The second thing is to make sure you have a base amount of groceries and essential supplies, like canned goods, dry goods, paper towels, toilet paper, batteries and flashlights. This is like being a girl-guide or boy-scout — always be prepared! It will save you in situations that you cannot anticipate for. It will get you through some time before anyone can get to your home to help you further if you need it.
The third thing, and one of the most important, is to stay warm. This measure can be prepared for in many different ways. Make sure you have the appropriate outerwear to stay warm while you’re outside, such as a warm coat and boots with a rubber tread to avoid slipping. Avoid spending extended periods of time outside to reduce your risk of hypothermia. Another way to make sure you stay warm in your home is by conducting preventative maintenance for the heating system in your home. Simple things like changing the air filter in your furnace (and having back up filters) or having your fireplace and chimney cleaned can make a huge difference.
The last tip we want to share with you is to waterproof your home before the cold days arrive. This is maintenance work that may require some assistance, either from family members or professionals. This includes things like clearing your gutters from fall debris and excess water that will definitely freeze during the winter and cause damage. Another simple thing to do is turn off the water supply to outside hoses to avoid freezing and bursting pipes. The other is to ensure that all of your exposed piping is properly insulated also to avoid bursting pipes.
We hope that you find these tips useful! If you are a senior living independently at home and require some extra home care assistance over the winter period, do not hesitate to reach out to our experienced team.