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February 25, 2014

Home Care in Winter: Staying Warm

When providing home care for seniors, it's important to realize that their changing bodies have seasonal needs. In the summer, it is especially dangerous if seniors get too hot and in winter, home care providers need to make sure seniors are warm, especially if they are alone in their homes.

Keeping the Home Warm

Not only does making sure that a senior's home is protected against the cold help the senior stay warm, but it also directly saves energy costs. Here are some ideas and tips for making sure a senior's home is sufficiently warm in winter so that they can remain happy and healthy, experiencing the highest-possible quality of life.

Seniors are especially vulnerable to drafts, but often they are not physically able to take the necessary steps to properly insulate their home. Windows and doors often let warm air out and cold air in, and should be examined each year for maximum energy efficiency. This is something a family member or other home care provider can help them with.

If the senior's home is older, their windows may seep cold air through the glass or leak cold air around the frame's edges. This is actually a fairly simple fix. Sealing the window with plastic sheeting is an inexpensive way to keep the cold air from seeping through the window pane. This plastic sheeting is available in most local hardware or grocery stores. An added advantage to this is that light can still enter through the window, even though is sealed effectively.

Often, double-hung windows can become lodged open during the summer, which usually does not impact the interior temperature of the home as drastically as they can in the winter months. Home care providers or family members should also examine all windows to make sure they are fully closed and locked.

Additionally, cold air can often enter a senior's home under the edges of windows and doors. When checking these, look to see if any daylight shines through when the door or window is closed. If daylight can be seen, the door or window is not properly sealed. Fix this with inexpensive draft-protection insulation.

By making sure the senior's home is warm and draft-free, home care providers can help the senior live a happier, healthier life.

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