As winter begins to draw to a close in certain parts of the country and spring lies just ahead, many might think the worst is over. But in areas that are cold enough to deal with snow in the winter months, the increased likelihood of blizzards occur as temperatures allow for larger storms to build up and fall upon certain areas of the country. If you are in an area where an occasional blizzard occurs, read on for some tips to help your parent weather the storm.
Long before the storm hits.
Be proactive and make sure your parent is ready for any storm that may hit and cause him to be stuck at home for days on end. This usually means making sure pantries and supplies are well stocked so that your parent won’t have to try to go out in inclement weather to refill his prescription or refrigerator. You might even want to consider purchasing a portable heater or electric blankets in case his furnace goes out during a storm.
Now is a great time to ask your elder care provider to help your parent create an inventory of what he has on hand and then keep his pantry and medicine cabinet filled going forward. Never wait to fill those prescriptions until just before they’re about to run out: try to have a two-week supply on hand at a minimum.
Once the storm is coming.
If you know a bad storm or blizzard is hitting tomorrow, doing a quick check in with your parent is paramount. Make sure he knows what’s coming and the “rules” of safety, such as not heading out during the storm for any reason. It may also be a good time for you or your elder care provider to run a quick last-minute errand for your parent if time and safety permit.
During the storm.
Remind your parent that while the snow flies, it is a great time to do indoor activities like working on a puzzle, catching up on a show, or filling out boring paperwork. If a pet needs to be let outside, have a little area right by the door for the pet so your parent doesn’t have to head outside with it. Make sure phones are charged and keep communication lines open in case there are any emergencies during the storm that need to be immediately addressed like a health or home crisis.
After the storm.
Ask your parent to wait patiently as roads and sidewalks are cleared in his area. Sometimes snowplows make take days to arrive in more rural areas. Also, let your parent know which caregiver or family member is coming to shovel his walks and plow his driveway. If the snow is particularly deep and heavy, he should not be trying to do this chore himself. Once you’re able to access your parent’s home, check for any outside damage or clean up that needs to occur and create a plan on how it will be done so your parent will know he doesn’t need to worry about it.
When it’s all done and over, don’t forget to appreciate the beauty a good strong storm can bring to the area and take some time to enjoy it with your parent. It won’t be long till warmer days are ahead.