As a family caregiver, it’s important to make winter safety a priority and to be prepared for the coming cold weather. To help you get started, we’ve outlined five important steps to help you get ready for winter as a caregiver.
5 Tips to Get Ready for Winter as a Family Caregiver
- Do not let your aging loved one shovel snow themselves: Shoveling snow is one of the leading causes of injuries during the winter months. Either hire someone to shovel the snow or ask local, able teenagers or boy scouts you know to help.
- Make sure your car is winter-ready: To get your car prepared for winter travel, make sure you have filled up your windshield wiper fluid, and have ice scrapers, snow brushes, and umbrellas in your car. You may even want to keep a blanket in the trunk or back seat in case of an emergency.
- Keep an eye out winter depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Symptoms of SAD may include (but are not limited to):
- fatigue or decreased energy
- changing sleep habits
- irritability or restlessness
- anxious or “empty” feelings
- difficulty concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions
- loss of interest or pleasure in formerly enjoyable activities
- Coordinate daily check-ins with your loved one: Include your entire family in this effort. Have someone in the family check-in (whether over the phone, via the Caring Village Mobile App, or in-person) with your aging loved one. Ask questions to see how they are feeling. Keep track of any changes.
- Inventory all of the medical equipment. In case your loved one requires oxygen or other types of medically essential machines, make sure that you have a back-up generator or back-up options available in case of a power outage.
If you need extra help – now is the time to coordinate with family, friends and/or paid caregivers. Taking the time to prepare you and your aging loved one for winter not only puts them at ease, but could also save their life.