What to check in your elderly loved one's home before a winter storm

CLEVELAND - With temperatures dropping below zero next week, the elderly may have a difficult time adjusting, the Department of Aging said.

They released tips and things to look for when checking on your elderly relatives or neighbors.

Do an indoor environmental risk assessment:

  • Is his or her heating system working?
  • Does he or she have adequate means to keep the temperature in the home in a comfortable range?
  • Is he or she using heating devices that could pose a fire risk or carbon monoxide poisoning risk?

Do a health risk assessment:

  • Does he or she need medical attention?
  • Does he or she depend on oxygen?
  • Does he or she have the medications and medical supplies they need?

Check food supplies:

  • Does he or she have an adequate food supply?
  • Does he or she have access to non-perishable food that can be prepared without electricity if need be?
  • Does he or she have access to clean drinking water?

Make sure they can get help if needed:

  • Does he or she have someone identified to call for help if needed?
  • Does he or she have access to a phone that works – even if the power goes out (cordless phones and voice-over-IP service may not work during a power outage)?
  • If he or she has a cell phone, is it sufficiently charged?

More tips and resources for checking on loved ones and friends are available on the department’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/OhioDepartmentOfAging

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