Helping Seniors Prepare for Fall Temperatures

By August 8, 2014Aging in Place

As the days of summer draw closer to an end, the effects of fall will soon be felt. That means cooler temperatures, increased rain, and humidity. For independent seniors and older adults receiving in-home eldercare, taking some key seasonal precautions around the house will ensure they remain safe and comfortable during the fall season.

Here’s a list of simple tasks that can help seniors fearlessly welcome autumn temperatures:

Put an End to Cold Drafts
Windows are the number one culprit of cold drafts in the home. For example, windows with cracks or an inability to properly close can result in large open spots that lead straight to the outdoors. Older homes are notorious for problem for window drafts, allowing precious heat to escape and lowering indoor temperatures.

Luckily, this problem can usually be remedied. For old wooden-frame windows or cracked seals around doors/windows, applying a strip of all-purpose caulk serves as an instant solution. For areas that are too big for caulking, seniors can tape a large garbage bag over the cracks until a professional can fix the problem.

Evaluate the Home Heating Unit
As temperatures continue to be mild, experts believe the U.S. is in for an extremely hard winter. For seniors who are aging in place, an early test of heating systems is imperative. Seniors or their caregivers should turn the unit to heat mode and adjust the temperature to make sure the heat kicks on. Once the unit clicks on and begins blowing air, place a hand over the vents to make sure warm air is coming out.

After no action for several straight months, the heating system can become clogged with dust, pet fur/dander, or debris. Avoid problems with the heating unit by running routine checks on the system throughout the spring and summer months.

Home Gutter Maintenance
With drastic weather changes on the menu, seniors should make sure their house gutters are clear and in working order. In older homes, gutters are often ignored for years. This neglect causes clogs to form within the gutters, eventually leading to dangerous water backups. Believe it or not, clogged gutters can cause leaks in the roof and result in major damage. Worst case scenario, the house floods on a chilly fall evening and power is lost. With no way to heat the home, seniors can find themselves in a real life-and-death struggle.

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