The cold winter months bring new challenges for keeping seniors healthy, safe, and warm. Since being in a cold home can increase the risk of respiratory problems, heart disease, poor sleeping habits, and other complications, it’s important to ensure the temperatures in your elderly loved one’s home are warm enough to keep him or her safe. Scottsdale in-home care experts offer a few simple suggestions to help make this happen.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat allows your loved one to control the temperature without needing to remember to change it throughout the day. For instance, it can be set cooler for the daytime and slightly warmer for the evening hours. If you are concerned about being able to monitor the temperature of your loved one’s home from afar, consider a thermostat that can be controlled via smartphone.
Purchase Warm Bedding
While it is healthier to sleep with a slightly cooler air temperature, you don’t want your loved one to be too cold. Invest in warm bedding your loved one can use on a regular basis, such as flannel sheets and down blankets, and make sure there are plenty of extra blankets nearby and easily accessible.
Use Throw Rugs
Many people underestimate how much heat is lost through the floor, especially hardwood or tile. Putting down some throw rugs can reduce heat loss and help keep your loved one’s feet warmer. Make sure the rugs are well secured so they do not create a tripping hazard.
Seal Up Cracks and Crevices
Before the frigid winter sets in, make sure to check for any cracks in the foundation of your loved one’s house or open spaces around doors or windows. Seal these spaces up to keep the cold outside and the heat in. Foam roll and spray insulation are easy to use and readily available options.
Humidify the Home
Moist air feels warmer, but in the cold winter months the air is naturally drier. Run a humidifier in your loved one’s home or add some houseplants to make the air feel warmer. This can also help alleviate dry skin and dry sinuses that often accompany the winter months.
During the winter, many seniors end up cold even when inside their homes and surrounded by heaters and blankets. There may also be times when they need to get out of the house in cold weather conditions. If you are concerned about your loved one’s safety while being alone in cold weather, consider hiring a part-time or live-in caregiver to help. At Home Care Assistance, our caregivers can provide transportation for your loved one and assist with a variety of tasks around the house, including exercise, cooking, and cleaning. We also offer specialized Parkinson’s, stroke and dementia care in Scottsdale. For more information on our senior care services, call one of our friendly Care Managers at 480.448.6215 to schedule a free consultation.