Harsh winter weather can endanger the lives of older people. That's why Home Instead Senior Care, Galway’s largest home care organisation, has issued a winter safety preparation checklist to help seniors stay safe during the cold winter months.
“We know that a disaster can be deadly for some seniors because of physical and other limitations,” said Heather Gately, owner of the Home Instead office serving Galway and the rest of Connacht. “That’s why the sooner the better for families to talk with their senior loved ones and begin preparing in advance for any kind of emergency that could threaten their health or safety. Consider this checklist as you help your older adult get ready.”
Home Instead Senior Care's winter safety checklist for seniors
• Tune in. Listen to local radio stations to learn about weather conditions in your area. It is important to stay abreast of what is going on in your locality.
• Take stock. Decide what your senior can or cannot do during the harsh winter months. Make a list of what would be needed if a disaster such as flooding or icy road conditions occurred.
• Make a plan. Schedule a family meeting to develop a plan of action. Include in your plan key people — such as neighbours, friends, relatives, and professional caregivers — who could help.
• Get up and go kit: Have an easy-to-carry backpack including three days’ worth of non-perishable food and water, with an additional four days of food and water readily accessible at home. Have at least two litres of bottled water per person per day. Refresh and replace your supplies at least twice a year. Don’t forget the blanket and paper products such as toilet paper.
• Pack extras and copies. Have at least one month’s supply of medication on hand at all times. Make ready other important documents in a waterproof protector including copies of prescriptions, insurance documents, and bank account numbers. Also take extra eyeglasses and hearing aid batteries. Label every piece of important equipment or personal item in case they are lost.
• Your contact list. Compile a contact list and include people on a senior’s support network as well as doctors and other important healthcare professionals.
• If you cannot be there: If you are not living close by to help your loved one, enlist the help of family or friends, or contact a professional caregiving company like Home Instead Senior Care.
For more information about winter safety for seniors, contact Home Instead Senior Care at (091 ) 384160 or visit www.homeinstead.ie