A Plan for Winter Storm Preparedness

Winter storms can be challenging for everyone, but they pose an even greater risk to seniors living alone. As the temperature dips and the risk of severe winter weather increases, it’s crucial for older adults to be well-prepared. Here are some essential tips to help seniors weather the storm safely and comfortably.

1. Stock Up on Essentials
First and foremost, it’s important to have enough supplies. This includes non-perishable food items, bottled water, medications, and any medical supplies you might need for at least a week. In case of power outages, have a manual can opener and battery-operated appliances like a flashlight and a radio. Don’t forget extra batteries!

2. Keep Warm Safely
Heating is a major concern during winter storms. Ensure your heating system is in good working order before the winter season. Have extra blankets, warm clothing, and perhaps a safe, portable heater as a backup. Be mindful of the risks of using fireplaces or gas heaters, and never leave them unattended.

3. Plan for Medication Needs
If you take medication regularly, it’s vital to have an adequate supply before a storm hits. Contact your healthcare provider or pharmacy to ensure you have enough medication to last through the storm, especially since roads might be impassable for a few days. If you rely on medical equipment that needs electricity, like a CPAP machine or oxygen concentrator, have a plan for power outages. This could mean having a generator or backup power source.

4. Stay Informed
Stay updated on the weather forecast and any emergency instructions specific to your area. A battery-powered or hand-crank radio can be invaluable if the power goes out. Knowing what to expect allows you to make necessary preparations in advance and avoid being caught off guard.

5. Prepare for Power Outages
In addition to having flashlights and extra batteries, prepare for how you’ll handle an extended power outage. This might involve having a plan to relocate to a friend’s house or a community shelter if the outage persists, especially if your home gets too cold.

6. Keep Emergency Contacts Handy
Have a list of emergency contact numbers, including family members, neighbors, health care providers, and local emergency services. Ensure this list is easily accessible, and consider giving a copy to a trusted neighbor or family member.

7. Arrange for Snow Removal
If you’re unable to shovel snow, arrange for a snow removal service or a neighbor to clear your driveway and walkways. It’s important to keep these areas clear to allow for emergency access to your home if needed.

8. Stay Connected
Maintain communication with friends, family, or caregivers, especially during a storm. Let them know your plans and how you’re doing. If possible, arrange for someone to check on you periodically. Staying connected not only ensures your safety but also provides emotional support, which can be crucial during such isolating times.

9. Home Safety Check
Before the storm hits, it’s wise to conduct a home safety check. Ensure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are working, and consider installing temperature sensors that alert you if your home gets too cold, which can be a hazard for hypothermia.

10. Know the Signs of Hypothermia and Frostbite
Educate yourself about the signs of hypothermia and frostbite – two common cold-related emergencies. Symptoms of hypothermia include shivering, confusion, memory loss, drowsiness, and slurred speech. Frostbite symptoms include a loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in extremities like fingers, toes, ear lobes, or the tip of the nose. If you suspect you have either of these conditions, seek medical help immediately.

11. Emergency Kit
Prepare an emergency kit and keep it in an accessible location. This kit should include water, non-perishable food, a first-aid kit, a flashlight, extra batteries, blankets, and a whistle

Learn More About What Makes Guided Living’s Care Special

Guided Living’s model of care is setting the highest standards for quality:

  • Registered Nurse oversight for all care, ensuring that our caregivers and families have access to a licensed nurse 24/7 for support and to maintain an up-to-date care plan.
  • All caregivers are all certified and experienced, giving our clients peace of mind and exceptional care.
  • Since we have a stable care team, client’s have consistent and reliable schedules that they can count on.

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    Caregiver Testimonial – Thank you Colleen and Juliana!

    Guided Living’s success can be attributed to their culture. The agency is dedicated, professional and flexible to caregivers and clients.

    The staff works in unison as a Team to provide outstanding care. Every day I get to make a difference in our clients’ world!

    I love working with Guided Living, they know my abilities to help our clients and I have their full support!

    -Colleen B.

    Home Health Care is a challenging and rewarding field. As a CNA, I’ve found myself devoted to this field because of how rewarding it is to give compassionate care to others.

    However, working for agencies I’ve found you are often looked at as just another badge number with hours to fill. My experience with the Team at Guided Living changed that perspective. The office staff understands me and respects me. Not only as a caregiver, but as an individual as well. Because of this support I’m able to excel as a caregiver and exceed even my own expectations.

    I love working with Guided Living!! It’s been a real game changer for me.

    -Juliana F.

    Milestone Anniversaries of Our Dedicated Team

    Guided Living was founded in 2014 to bring the highest quality of home care to seniors in our community. I am so grateful for our incredible team that made that mission a reality through their compassion, hard work and dedication.

    That is why I am so excited to deliver these trophies and care packages to acknowledge those who have been with the company for three, four, five or even more years!

    Guided Living will continue to grow in many ways, but its heart and soul will always be the hard working and compassionate individuals who care for our clients. It is an honor to work every day with this amazing team.

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    Client & Family Survey Feedback

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    It is hard to describe the panic triggered after a fall resulted in a fractured shoulder and humerus. A relatively healthy senior, suddenly I was unable to perform many activities of daily living and my independence was profoundly threatened. For help, I called Guided Living Senior Home Care and arranged daily assistance. Not only did they help with a variety of tasks, but their presence provided me with the opportunity to rest, an essential element to recovery. After several weeks, I gradually progressed. Today I can live independently, as I continue therapy to restore mobility.

    My progress was enhanced by the gentle and kind assistance of your CNAs. They were prompt and competent, always professional and respectful as we worked through the stresses of recovery. I doubt that I could have remained at home alone without them. Please extend my gratitude to your staff who served me.

    I am happy to share my experience with others and will continue to recommend your organization to seniors who find themselves in need of help at home. Good luck to you and the valuable services you provide.

    Joan - Plymouth, MA

    We really should have coordinated with you all on this years ago! Awesome getting this all done so quickly for our family, please pass on our sincere thanks for all the hustle to the extended team there.

    JW - Brewster, MA

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    • Provide a higher level of care services such as medication administration, dressing changes or wound care
    • Help prevent ER visits & other unplanned events
    • Communication among physicians & other providers

    Chronic Illness Management

    Unmanaged chronic illnesses including Alzheimer’s Disease lead to more intense symptoms which can progress to loss of physical & cognitive function. This vicious cycle causes multiple problems such as fatigue, depression, pain, stress, fall risk issues, & medication mis-management.

    Our approach promotes & supports positive aging by monitoring good nutrition practices, safety at home, subtle changes & responding to those changes earlier in the disease cycle.

    Family Testimonials – Complex Care Situations

    Guided Living has been a life saver for my 91 year old father and our entire family following his brief stay at a nursing home after having a heart attack. We lost our mother the year before and myself and my siblings (some of whom live in other states) were worried about his continued recovery after he returned home. He would still need 24/7 care at home for a short while and we only had four days’ notice when the nursing home told us he was going to be released. I called Guided Living on Tuesday morning, met with them on Friday and a caregiver was at his house on Saturday when he came home! From my very first phone call to Guided Living we have experienced only warm and caring personal attention to our every need. All the staff are calm and pleasant whenever we talk and are always there for us no matter the time of day or how big or small our problem. It is like calling on a friend or loved one for help. We had a family meeting after 24/7 care was no longer necessary and decided to stay with Guided Living five days a week with a few hours of help in the morning and in the evening. The two CNA’s who help our father every week have become like family to us. We admire and trust them so much. They are very professional but so personal in their caregiving. We have such peace of mind knowing he is not alone all day and he likes knowing he has time to himself every afternoon. Two of us live close to my father and we treasure the time we spend helping him on the weekends. Our father always said as he got older that he never wanted to intrude on his children’s lives. As his children we feel very deeply that we want to be there for him in every way possible in this final chapter of his life. Guided Living has allowed all of us to be happy with the very custom care schedule they have set up. We are very grateful and wish the same for every family facing a situation similar to ours.
    Beth S. - Falmouth, MA
    Recently my family required support after the sudden illness and subsequent death of my father. The Guided Living team responded immediately, supporting my mother, an Alzheimer’s patient, during a very difficult time of transition. Every caregiver assigned to care for her was warm and attentive. The Guided Living office was professional and reliable with their scheduling, troubleshooting, and communication. Any question I had was answered immediately, and I was given full access to the Guided Living online Dashboard which allowed me to leave messages for the companion on duty, view the week’s schedule of caretakers, and see the tasks completed by each. My mother felt safe and comfortable. I will always be grateful that Guided Living was there for my family, and I highly recommend their care to other families in need.
    M.T. - Plymouth, MA
    I am so pleased at how everything has worked out these last few months and now with a trip to the hospital and home again for my aunt and we want to pause for a moment to thank you and your team very much!

    My sister and I were just recently saying to one another how fortunate we and my aunt are to have you and your constant care and effort. It is so reassuring!

    We know this latest event must have been very scary for all involved – my aunt the most – and it is so great we can all celebrate a return home for her today. Please thank all of the caregivers and nurses!!!!

    Thank you Patrick!

    Janet B. - San Francisco, CA
    Professional, knowledgeable, responsive and caring. Hands down over and above any and all expectations. Available at all times for all questions! I have been so impressed and grateful for the help and guidance through some very difficult times!!
    Nancy O. - Plymouth, MA
    I am writing to thank you for the wonderful service you have provided for my parents. We greatly appreciate that you were able to provide customized care and rearrange schedules to meet my parents changing needs. We met you in a time of need for my family and you have offered support in every regard and allowed us to feel comfortable and confident that my folks needs were being met. You have gone above and beyond and we are deeply grateful.
    Greg D. - South Portland, ME

    Additional Family Survey Feedback

    The initial referral came over a holiday weekend and still they could provide excellent coverage. Staff worked very well with the VNA case manager to alert us to problems. Office staff were friendly and helpful, and very responsive.

    All the caregivers assigned to my husband were wonderful. They brought a little sunshine into his last days and I am so grateful Patrick started this business.

    Your caregivers are terrific. They are professional, compassionate and genuinely concerned about their clients. Guided Living is a very reliable service that our family appreciates. They communicate well with the family and keep us informed of any situation that requires further or immediate intervention.

    If the nurse did not visit my mother while I was on vacation, she would most likely have died-alone and would have been found by a family member. Thanks to the nurse my mother was admitted to the hospital and had a good death-in comfort receiving medical care surrounded by her family. Amazingly dedicated staff. I will be forever grateful.

    The care, professionalism and observation skills of the HHAs are excellent. They are very quick to notice changes and problems. They are of great help.

    My parents would not have been able to live out their final weeks at home without the services provided.

    Great team of people. I have recommended you to a number of my patients, who have all been very pleased with the services.

    We are very happy with the nurse assigned. She provides exceptional care. My mother looks forward to her visits. We are also happy with the professionalism and courteousness of all the staff.

    We are extremely happy with my husband’s caregiver. She is very caring, reliable, and efficient in everything she does.

    You have a great team of people working for you. I cannot thank them enough for all their help with my father in law.

    Guided Living has given me peace of mind as I live 4 hours away from my parents. Everyone who has taken care of my mom has been wonderful. Thank you Patrick for having such excellent staff.

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