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Cold Weather Tips for Seniors

While winter in the Pacific Northwest can be a beautiful time of year, the cold weather can pose potential hazards. Read on for some helpful tips to keep yourself and your home warm, safe, and prepared for the winter.

Keep your home cozy.

Keeping your home at a stable temperature (think: between 68-70 degrees) can help make it more comfortable without significantly raising your heating costs. To reduce heat costs further, close the vents and doors in rooms that are not in use and prevent heat from escaping by closing curtains and adhering weather stripping to doors or windows that have gaps.

Dress for the season.

As we age, our body has a tougher time retaining heat, so when out and about and on the go, make sure to dress in loose layers (and don’t forget to wear warm shoes with non-slip soles!) Around the house, sweaters, non-slip socks or slippers, and blankets are great ways to stay warm and cozy. It is also a good idea to have an extra set of warm clothes and blankets in your car, just in case!

Stock up on necessities.

Snowfall can increase the chances of power outages and cold, freezing rain can making getting around the Portland area more difficult and sometimes dangerous, so it is important to have a surplus of necessities on-hand in your home, as well as in your car during travel. If you take any regular prescription medications or vitamins, it is a good idea to try to keep an extra supply or make sure that they are filled before any predicted snowstorms or hazardous weather. It can also be helpful to have non-perishable foods, bottled water, flashlights and hand warmers in your home and car so you don’t have to make any unnecessary trips in challenging weather.

Keep your walkways safe.

When the cold weather hits, your walkways and driveway can pose potential hazards – as can entryways exposed to the elements. Inside your doorways, make sure to place non-slip mats to house any wet shoes and mitigate slipping hazards. Make sure that the snow on walkways leading to and from your doorways and car are shoveled to prevent ice from forming – and if you are unable to tackle the task yourself, enlist the help of a neighbor, friend, or family member to help you. You can also give us a call at any time and we can help connect you with someone who can assist!

Don’t forget about fire safety.

While they can be a great way to heat your home, the use of fireplaces, space heaters or gas lamps can pose fire risks. Before it gets too cold, make sure to have your fireplace inspected and properly cleaned before use. It is also a good idea to check that any space heaters or gas lamps are functioning correctly and that any carbon monoxide detectors are working properly (replace those batteries!) to help keep you safe!

While the winter season can pose additional challenges, we are here for you and are happy to help assist with your needs! If you are looking for services to help inspect your fireplace, shovel your walkways, or otherwise prepare your home for the cold weather, you can reach out at any time (503.660.8306) or take a look at the many resources we have put together to assist you here.

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