Your parents live alone, and you stop by weekly. Being there one day a week isn’t enough to prevent issues from happening. Winter is on the way. Have you taken the time to go over home safety checklists with your mom and dad?
Fall is a perfect time. If work needs to be done outside, roofs are still clear and ladders are not going on icy, snow-covered turf. It’s also a time when many contractors offer special prices on cleanings and maintenance.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Tests and Battery Changes
Before the furnace or boiler is turned on or before you start lighting fires in a woodstove or fireplace, test all alarms within the house. Smoke/fire and carbon monoxide alarms should be located on each floor and near bedrooms.
Check the expiration date on the alarm. Many have the date the unit expires stamped on the back. It’s also a good time to change batteries and start a new heating system with full battery power.
Chimney and Vent Pipe Inspections and Cleanings
Chimneys and flue pipes should be cleaned and inspected each season. You do not want a blockage to cause smoke or carbon monoxide to back up into the house. If the chimney is connected to a wood or pellet stove, it’s a good time to have those cleaned and inspected, too.
Heating System Cleanings and Inspections
Furnaces and boilers need to be cleaned yearly. Air filters on forced hot air systems need to be replaced every few months. Don’t try to save money by skipping a cleaning. The risk of carbon monoxide is too great on a system that is dirty. You also want the heating system working correctly during the cold winter months.
Septic Tank Cleanings and Checks
If your parents have a septic system, most have effluent filters that must be cleaned twice a year. The tank should be pumped out every three years on average. Your mom or dad could clean the effluent filter themselves, but it’s a smelly job. They may prefer to have the filter cleaned out while the tank is pumped.
By scheduling cleaning and checks now, you avoid having to dig through ice and snow to get to the septic system this winter. Regular cleanings and inspections keep the system running effectively. If you’re not sure when it was last done, it’s probably time.
Prevent Isolation During the Winter
Winter can be hard on seniors who struggle with mobility or who have been told not to drive. Elderly care services eliminate some of the isolation your mom and dad might experience. Caregivers can come visit each day or week. They can drive your parents to stores, restaurants, and other local businesses.
Find out what you need to do to arrange elderly care services. It will change your parents’ lives and help prevent winter blues. Call an agency today.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Care Services in Wilmette, IL, call the caring staff at LifeCare Home Health & In-Home Services. Call (888) 606-4199 LifeCare serves all of the Chicago Metro Area.
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