Baby, its cold outside (well, almost)! With November upon us, it is time to think about preparing for colder temperatures. Although we don’t have to contend with snow here in sunny San Luis Obispo County, there are still some safety measures we should take to protect ourselves and our homes from the effects of cold. Our senior friends and family may forget or need assistance with these precautions so a kind friend, family member or caregiver should be enlisted to help!

Most people like to stay warm and cozy inside when it gets cold out. The first thing we do is turn on that heater or stoke up the fireplace but when was the last time the heating system was checked? Have it serviced by a professional before using it for the winter. If there is a fireplace, get the chimney checked and cleaned.

Is there a backup heating system if the primary one fails? If not, look into a backup like a space heater.

Does the home have a working smoke detector in each bedroom? Does it have a carbon monoxide detector? If so, test them! If not, pick some up. Cal Fire has smoke detector placement guidelines here. If the home is a rental, California law requires that landlords install smoke detectors in the home.

Outside the home, we should also check water lines and insulate pipes to prevent freezing and bursting. Check the roof for possible leaks and clean out the rain gutters (we can hope for rain right?).

For seniors that are still driving, it is a good idea to get the vehicle ready for cold weather too, especially if it isn’t driven often. advises the following for preparing a vehicle for winter:

  • -- Service the radiator and maintain antifreeze level; check tire tread.
  • -- Keep gas tank full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
  • -- Use a wintertime formula in your windshield washer.
  • -- Prepare a winter emergency kit to keep in your car in case you become stranded. Include
    • -- blankets;
    • -- food and water;
    • -- booster cables, flares, tire pump, and a bag of sand or cat litter (for traction);
    • -- compass and maps;
    • -- flashlight, battery-powered radio, and extra batteries;
    • -- first-aid kit; and
    • -- plastic bags (for sanitation).

 Caregivers, friends and family, go over these items with your senior and let’s all be safe and enjoy the winter season!

If you would like to learn more about dependable in-home help for the elderly and the many benefits of professional senior care at home or dementia and Alzheimer’s care, call Senior Helpers of San Luis Obispo County to speak to a senior care specialist today 805-461-5892!   The compassionate senior care specialists at Senior Helpers can also guide you through the process of receiving the Veterans Administration Aid and Attendance Benefit if your elderly loved one is a veteran.   In-home senior care and in-home assisted living allows your loved one to stay in the comforts of their own home for as long as possible while receiving the level of care they need. Senior Helpers of San Luis Obispo County provides a wide range of services including Alzheimer’s and dementia care, personal assistance, companionship, and so much more to all areas of San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, Atascadero, Arroyo Grande, Cambria, and surrounding areas. Visit for more information.


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