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How to Keep Your Elderly Loved One Warm in the Winter

By Ted Holmgren, 9:00 am on

To protect senior loved ones from certain illnesses, families providing Chandler at-home care may need to take the weather into consideration. As the desert climate grows colder in Arizona’s winter season, it is especially important to help keep your elderly loved one warm to prevent weather-related health conditions such as the flu. Luckily, there are some easy ways to do this.

Ensure Warm Clothing Is Worn When Outdoors

When your loved one goes out in cold weather, make sure he or she wears a hat, a scarf, and a pair of gloves or mittens. A hat can prevent body heat from escaping through the top of the head, a scarf can provide a barrier between the cold air and your loved one’s lungs, and mittens or gloves can protect fingers from frostbite.

Check for Drafts in the House

Doors and windows are an invitation for drafts, especially in older homes. Use a sealant to close gaps around the windows and place a pillow or socks filled with sand in front of doors to stop chilly air from seeping underneath. If your loved one can afford to do so, make arrangements to replace old or warped doors and windows.

Encourage Proper Nutrition

Body fat can act as insulation from the cold. Older adults tend to burn more calories in the winter than in the summer, making them vulnerable to weight loss. Encourage your loved one to eat three healthy meals per day and make sure he or she has healthy snacks like protein bars and nutritional shakes available. If your loved one has difficulty cooking, you can sign him or her up for a program like Meals on Wheels, provide frozen dinners that can be easily prepared in a microwave, or hire an hourly caregiver in Chandler to help.

Talk to the Gas and Electric Company

Some seniors living on a fixed income can’t afford to pay an expensive heating bill, while others with memory-related conditions may even forget to pay their bills, which puts them at risk for having their power shut off. Ask your loved one to list you as an alternate contact with the gas and electric company. They will notify you if your loved one is at risk of having his or her heat turned off, giving you time to intervene.

During the winter, many seniors end up confined to their homes where their heaters can help them stay warmer. If your loved one wants to get out of the house, but you are concerned about his or her safety being alone in the cold weather, consider hiring a professional caregiver to help. At Home Care Assistance, our caregivers can provide your loved one with transportation and also assist with a variety of tasks around the house. For seniors who need more comprehensive care, we also offer specialized Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and dementia care in Chandler. To schedule a free in-home consultation with one of our experienced Care Managers, call 480.448.6215 today.