November has arrived and along with it, a long to-do list for homeowners preparing for snow and cold. Seniors may need help getting ready for the winter; the following is a checklist that can be shared with family and friends to help older loved-ones remain safe at home during the colder months.
- Rake leaves from grass and flowerbeds
- Clean out gutters and downspouts
- Clocks turned back, it’s time to replace the batteries on smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Have the furnace serviced to ensure it is in good working order and change the filters
- Have wood-burning chimneys professionally swept and inspected
- Check weather stripping and caulking around doors and windows
- Drain and store garden hoses
- Store patio furniture
- Dust off the refrigerator condenser coil
- Arrange for snow removal – bring out a shovel and salt/sand for icy areas
- Bring winter clothes and boots to the front of the closet
- Stock the pantry with a good supply of dry and canned goods
- Make sure at least one working flashlight is handy
- Check vehicle(s) for services needed, tires and fluids – put a brush/scraper in the car
Many community organizations such as the Boy Scouts or the United Way coordinate volunteer fall leaf cleanups for seniors. Some municipalities offer a service to help seniors remove heavy snow left by plows at the end of their driveways (windrow clearing). Contact your city office for more information.