Keeping Elderly Warm This Houston Winter
Updated: Nov 24, 2022
With colder temperatures settling in for the winter, it’s crucial to keep your elderly loved ones safe and warm at home.
While Houston’s winter may be a couple of months off, it’s important to start preparing for the potential of extreme cases. The Southeast Texas Winter Snap of 2021 was definitely a reminder of just how prone some of our systems are to extreme weather conditions.
Below are just a few steps you can take to ensure your aging loved one will be warm and toasty should jack frost decide to show up and bring his gang.
Prepare Their Home
Winterizing your aging loved one’s home is the best way to ensure they are safe and warm this coming winter.
Cover the pipes
When temperatures drop below 32 degrees fahrenheit, our pipes become prone to freezing and could mean no water or even worse, burst pipes. Go through the exterior of the home and find any pipes that may be susceptible to freezing and insulate them.
Plug the holes
An important way to keep the outside outside is ensure there aren’t any draft spots where cold air can come gushing in. Explore the exterior of the house and look for any small holes in corners around windows and doors and seal them. Sealing around door frames and under doors is a great place to start. But be sure to also check things like mail delivery slots and around plumbing or electrical outlets.
If there are outside areas that your loved one likes to enjoy, ensure that there are handrails on any terrain that could be difficult when the weather changes. Another great idea is to have a pair of winter boots and gloves by the door to ensure that if they decide to go out, they’ll have the necessary gear on hand (and foot).
Make Sure They Dress Warm
One of the easiest ways to keep warm is to layer up of course. You can even use this as an opportunity to go through the closet and maybe start cleaning up and getting rid of some things that may not be so useful.
Bring out all the old coats and most likely there will be a story attached to that item. If you have young ones, this is a great opportunity to let them go through their grandparents' wardrobe and put on a fashion show. Now your loved one will not only have their layers out and accessible to them when the cold weather arrives, but they’ll have new memories attached to the garments. This will most definitely keep their body and heart warm.
Ensure They Eat Well
During the winter months, sunlight can be a little more difficult to come by. Not only does decreased sunlight affect our moods, but the Vitamin D our skin makes from it will be significantly lowered. This is especially true of those with darker skin pigmentation. So it would be beneficial to ensure our loved ones are getting their Vitamin D through their foods.
Restock the kitchen with foods such as:
Cod liver oil
Orange juice fortified with vitamin D
Dairy and plant milks fortified with vitamin D
First Aid and Power Outage kit
We’re never quite sure when extreme weather might suddenly show up. And power outages can be quite common. So it's important to have a kit ready for your loved ones that they can easily access.
First aid Kit:
This kit should have all of the basics in the event of any cuts and scrapes. It should also contain a small amount of any important medications that would be handy to have on hand.
Power Outage kit:
In the event of a power outage, it’s important to have another kit with supplies aside from your first aid. Some things to consider having in your power outage kit could be:
Non-perishable, ready-to-eat food
A small amount of cash
Cards or games to keep boredom (and negative thoughts) at bay
Here at Christian Companions, we know just how much time and effort it takes to care for an aging loved one. If you, or someone you know, would benefit from an in-home caregiver to help with winter preparation please don't hesitate to give us a call. Our compassionate caregivers are eager to assist you and your elder.