As strikingly beautiful as they are, winters in Michigan can also be very difficult for residents. This is especially true of the state’s senior population, for whom the snow, ice, and brutal cold of a Great Lakes winter can be dangerous. Preparing a senior’s home for winter is key.
Tips to Prepare a Senior’s Home Before Winter
If you have a parent, grandparent, or other senior loved one who lives in Michigan, you’ll want to take every precaution you can to protect them for the frigid winter months ahead.
These guidelines can help ensure your senior loved ones enjoy the beauty of a Michigan winter without incident.
- Driveway. Have a plan in place to keep the driveway and walkways clear of ice and snow throughout the winter months. Include plans for frequent layers of salt for extra traction.
- Furnace. Hire a professional to test the furnace and make any necessary repairs for optimum heat and efficiency. Carbon monoxide poisoning is one danger that can be deadly if not detected and corrected. Make sure the furnace filter is also replaced.
- Space Heaters. If your older loved one uses space heaters during the winter, make sure they’re functioning properly and don’t pose a fire risk. Also, investigate to be certain they’re placed at least a few feet away from any materials that might catch fire. Read the manufacturer’s instructions if you haven’t already.
- Supplies. Purchase backup supplies of food, clean water, and other necessities. Depending on your older loved one’s living situation, this might include flashlights, blankets, batteries, extra doses of any medications, and an emergency cell phone. Don’t forget extra food for Fido if the senior has a pet!
- Vehicle. Make sure your senior family member’s vehicle is prepared for winter. This means checking the tires, brakes, fluids, and heater. Fall is also an ideal time for new windshield wipers and fresh anti-freeze. And investing in an auto club membership might be a good idea.
- Cover Drafts. Using plastic sealant on large windows and caulking drafty door frames can also help. You’ll simultaneously warm your senior loved one’s home and reduce their heating bill.
- Pipes. Last but certainly not least, make sure that the pipes are protected against freezing during the winter months. You can find detailed instructions on how to accomplish this right here.
With communities across the Great Lake state, Heritage is a leading provider of senior living in Michigan. Caregivers at our family-owned company have been welcoming Michigan seniors for four generations.