Now that winter’s here, chances are that the seniors in your family will be spending more time inside the house. With that in mind, there are a number of precautions you can take to safeguard senior homes this season.
First up, it’s important to check all furnaces and heaters to make sure they are working effectively. Ensure that the thermostat is also in good working order and encourage your elderly family member to keep it set around 70 degrees. Once you’re sure that the heating system is in good working order, double check the bedroom and look around the house to make sure there are plenty of blankets on hand.
Test all smoke alarms in the house to guarantee they are functioning. It’s also a good idea to install carbon monoxide detectors throughout the home to alert seniors of the presence of this dangerous odorless gas. Be sure to replace any non-functioning units or batteries as necessary.
Finally, check light levels in your aging family members’ homes. Winter brings with it lots of cold gray days, and many seniors will tend to keep the blinds closed in order to conserve heat. Therefore, making sure that there are strong, consistent artificial light sources throughout the house is critical. Try to avoid areas of high contrast since older individuals often have difficulty adjusting to changes in light levels. Install nightlights in hallways and bathrooms and, of course, be sure to secure all extension cords to the floor with tape.
Stay tuned to the Griswold blog or check back later in the week for the final installment in this week’s series when we will talk about tips for keeping seniors safe and protected from the cold outdoors this winter.
Have you or a loved one winter-proofed your house already? Share how you did it in the comments below!