Fall Home Preparation Tips for Aging Parents: How to Get Ready for Winter
As the leaves change color and autumn sets in, it's important to start thinking about how to get your aging parents or relatives ready for winter. The colder months can be difficult for seniors, so it's important to take some time now to prepare. Below are some fall home preparation tips for your senior loved ones.
What Should You Do to Get Your Aging Parent's Home Ready for Winter?
As you start your fall home preparation, check your windows and doors to make sure they are properly sealed and insulated. Make sure the gutters are clear so that melting snow can drain properly. Check the furnace and have it serviced if necessary.
Health & Safety:
Help your loved one stock up on winter weather essentials like a warm coat, gloves, hat, and scarf. If they use a walker or cane, make sure it has good traction for icy sidewalks. Install handrails on all stairways and consider a medical alert system in case of an emergency.
The winter months can be tough on everyone's immune system. Make sure your loved one is eating healthy and staying hydrated. If they are having trouble cooking or getting to the grocery store, see if there is someone who can help out or deliver meals.
Challenges of Caring for an Older Loved One
Caregiving can be a full-time job, but most caregivers also have other responsibilities like working and caring for their families. It can be difficult to find time for everything. Most employed caregivers making some work adjustment, like cutting back their hours or changing to a more flexible job.
Physical and emotional stress: Caring for an elderly loved one can be physically and emotionally demanding. It's important to take care of yourself to continue being there for your loved one. Get regular exercise, eat a healthy diet, and make time to do things you enjoy.
Financial strain: Providing care can be expensive, especially if you hire outside help or make changes to your home. Some programs can help offset the cost of caregiving, like the NY State Medicaid CDPAP program. Elite Choice is a Fiscal Intermediary for the CDPAP program.
Isolation: It's common for caregivers to feel isolated and alone. Make sure to stay connected with friends and family, and look into caregiver support groups in your area.
Roles of a Family Caregiver
Providing Care: This can include tasks like bathing, dressing, and grooming. It can also involve helping with activities of daily living like eating, using the bathroom, and getting around.
Managing Medications: This includes ensuring prescriptions are filled and taken on time. It may also involve monitoring side effects and coordinating with doctors or other health care providers.
Providing Companionship: This is an important role, especially for seniors who live alone. Family caregivers can provide social interaction and emotional support. They may also help with things like transportation, errands, and appointments.
Coordinating Care: This can involve communicating with doctors, scheduling appointments, as well as arranging for outside services like home health care or meals on wheels.
The NY State Medicaid CDPAP program
This program allows people with Medicaid to choose a family member or friend as their personal care attendant. The program pays the chosen caregiver to provide services like bathing, dressing, and meal preparation. To learn more about the program and how to get started, contact Elite Choice today. They are a Fiscal Intermediary that can help you navigate the program and get the care you need.
As you can see, there are many things to think about when it comes to fall home preparation to get your aging parents or relatives ready for winter. But by taking some time to prepare, you can help make the colder months a little easier for them and yourself.
Written by: Leah Ganz
Leah Ganz, RN, BSN is the Director of Patient Services at Elite Home Health Care. She has an extensive background in homecare and previously worked in various specialties including pediatrics, pain management and internal medicine. She oversees all patient services across Elite's departments.