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What Winter Safety Tips Are Best When Your Parents Age at Home?

Nov 23, 2018 by Nancy Hmieleski, RN, BSN Director of Nursing

It's almost winter. Some states have already seen their first significant snowfall. As winter arrives throughout the country, it's a good time to go over winter safety tips. Here are winter safety issues you and your parents need to discuss.

Check the Heating System and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

If your parents haven't had their heating system cleaned and inspected, they need to. Even if it doesn't need cleaning this year, a safety check must be performed. You want a professional to check the vent pipes for cracks or blockages. You want to make sure the system is running correctly.

You should also test carbon monoxide detectors. Remove any visible dust. Push and hold the test button to make sure it activates and gives off the warning. Unplug or take down the detector. Look at the back for the date code. Carbon monoxide detectors need replacing if it's past the expiration date.

Get a Stock of De-icer or Sand and Set it Near the Door

If your parents have a sidewalk, deck, patio, or stairs, you need to have a shovel and deicing agent or sand near the door. They should not attempt to get to the mailbox, a car, or down the stairs if they are covered with snow and ice. Putting a deicing agent or sand near the door makes it easy to spread as they begin the trip outside.

Clear Vents After a Storm

After a storm, someone needs to check that vents are clear of snow. This includes the vent to the heating system, clothes dryer, and pellet or wood stove. If there is snow, it needs to be cleared before the appliance is used or the risk of carbon monoxide increases.

If your parents cannot clear vents by themselves, get a caregiver, family member, or close friend to stop by. You can also call a trustworthy neighbor if you're not close by and are not sure how much snow fell or if your parents' vents are blocked.

Arrange Regular Elderly Care Visits

You might not live close enough to your parents to go to their house and make sure everything is okay. If your parents are aging at home, consider hiring elderly care services for wellness checks. Caregivers can make sure your parents have hot meals, schedule important appointments, and are warm enough. Call an elderly care agency to talk about fees and services available to your parents.

If you or an elderly loved one are considering elderly care in Belle Mead, NJ, or the surrounding areas, call the caring professionals at Comfort Keepers of Flemington, NJ. Call today (908) 806-2220.

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