If your loved one suffers from dementia, you already know how consuming it is to constantly worry about their well-being. The checklist grows exponentially as you watch one’s ability to monitor their own needs wane. During the winter months, as temperatures drop, you may notice that their ability to self-monitor body temperature is impaired. Perhaps you witness forgetfulness around wearing a warm coat or appropriate shoes. Slippery steps or streets can lead to the risk of falls. Also, insufficient clothing can increase the risk of hypothermia.   

There are things that you can do to feel more prepared during the cold weather. Take a look at the following list for some helpful tips at keeping your seniors safe and comfortable.
Check the weather Use your resources to get weather updates on the locations that matter most. You can learn about storms that are due to come before they arrive to prepare for additional help, supplies, or check-ins.

Monitor the thermostat Technology has provided us the ability to check a thermostat from a remote computer or smart phone. Choose an appropriate temperature for your senior depending on weather conditions and their mobility and set the thermostat as needed.

Review the utility bills Check with the local energy company to ensure that your senior is taking advantage of all the allowances they are entitled to. At some point it may be time for you to take over paying the bills. (Take note: many seniors fret about utility costs and will intentionally keep their home uncomfortably cold.)

Remove electric blankets Electric blankets are an old favorite but they can be hazardous if not used properly. A person with dementia may not be able to manage the responsibility.

Get carbon monoxide and fire alarms centrally linked Make sure that more than one person can respond to dangerous situations.

Prepare the closet Make sure that there are plenty of winter shoes and coats available by the front door.

The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. Please reach out to a Senior Care Authority Advisor in your area at (888) 854-3910 for a no-cost phone consultation. We have many resources to share with you. You can also find a local advisor on our website at www.seniorcareauthority.com.  

Written by Marcy Baskin, Managing Director of Senior Care Authority.