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Prepping for Colder Weather

With Thanksgiving now past us and the days getting shorter and shorter, the cold days of winter are finally starting to rear their heads. The summer days of leaving a window open for some fresh air, or not worrying about “heat loss” from poor insulation, give way to real issues and real challenges keeping your home warm and comfortable during the winter months. For Elder people especially, keeping the home warm and protected is crucial, and even more important is the proper preparation. Below are a few tips to look out for when prepping you or your elder relative’s home or living space for winter.

· Supplies:

Oftentimes a winter storm can surprise us and drop several inches of snow on our front doorstep overnight, making a formerly safe pathway into a dangerous and treacherous slippery slope. For Elder people especially, falling on a slippery icy or snowy pathway is a real and tangible danger, which can lead to much more serious health complications down the road. Maintaining a health supply of ice melt and sand, as well as a good shovel, is crucial in making sure a light snowfall doesn’t turn into a life-threatening icy pathway. In the same vein, making sure your heating system is well-stocked and fueled, whether by wood, oil, pellets, or gas, can make a big difference if a big storm strikes and snows the home in.

· Preparation and Insulation:

It’s good to be financially responsible even in our younger years, but it’s even more crucial for elders. Many elders are working with a limited retirement budget and may not be able to afford losing heat through poor insulation and having to spend inordinate amounts of money to keep the house warm. Even people who can afford it, shouldn’t have to waste money! One of the best ways to save on heating costs is making sure your home is well-insulated. Checking for drafts and gaps around windows and doors, as well as making sure the attic is well-insulated, can go a long way to keeping the house toasty and warm and safe.

· Planning ahead:

Even with all our prep, sometimes a storm is still able to knock us out of commission and keep us isolated in our house. If an elder person is unable to physically get out of the door and shovel the walkway, it can turn into a dangerous situation for themselves and for others. Preparing ahead of time for snow removal can make a big difference to staying safe and comfortable during winter events. Something as simple as hiring a neighbor to shovel the driveway when it snows can make things that much easier.

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Senior Steps is a full-service geriatric care management company offering top-quality, personalized care to elderly clients on Boston’s South Shore. We offer free consultations, so call us today at 617-405-8796 or e-mail us at if you would like to chat about how we can help you or an elderly loved one with medical, financial, or legal advocacy, or activities of daily living.

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