September 25, 2020
Colorado experienced a snowstorm just days after 100-degree weather. Winter is coming, whether your family is ready for it or not. Before wintry weather like snow, rain, and ice arrive, make sure your parents’ house is ready for it.
Whether your parents heat with a pellet stove, gas fireplace, forced-air, or boiler/forced-water system, it needs to be cleaned and inspected for safety issues. During an inspection, the HVAC technician checks that vent pipes are venting properly, that there are no cracks or issues causing carbon monoxide to leak into the room, and that the system is working efficiently.
It’s better to find out there is a problem with the heating system before it gets too cold. That way, the heating system is ready to go when your parents need it.
If your parents cannot shovel or use a snowblower, hire someone who can take care of the snow for them. Make sure the service includes clearing any vent pipes to the heating system and clothes dryer. If there’s ice, see if the company offers sanding/salting services, too.
You want your parents to be able to get their mail without slipping and falling. That’s why you want to make sure the service will sand or salt the ice and snow after shoveling and/or plowing.
Don’t wait until the clocks change to test any smoke, fire, and/or carbon monoxide detectors. Test them now and replace the batteries in any that aren’t working or replace the entire unit.
While you’re testing them, check the date codes to make sure they’re still in date. Units can expire and may not work correctly if they are out of date.
Do you have someone checking on your parents when the weather changes? Is someone available to drive them to stores to stock up on supplies? Can someone check on them to make sure their heat is on and working correctly? Are they eating well?
If you have concerns and cannot stop by as often as you think is needed, hire senior care aides to do quick checks. While there to make sure your parents have heat, water, and electricity, caregivers can cook hearty meals and help clean the home.
They’ll do the laundry, help organize mail, and assist with other tasks your parents struggle to complete independently. To schedule any of these services, call a senior care specialist, and discuss your parents’ strengths and weaknesses. A comprehensive senior care plan is built around your parents’ preferences.