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  • Gwyneth Blackwell and Kathleen Riordan

"Slippery When Wet and Icy"

As we look at this beautiful Autumn day, October 31st, it is hard to recall the past few days of torrential downpours, high gusts of wind resulting in powerlines down, darkened neighborhoods everywhere, no heat, no lights. It is a reminder to us all that preparation for the harder weather is so important and especially important for our seniors who are living alone or with their spouse/partner and are more vulnerable to these drastic weather events.

As beautiful as the Fall is, those falling leaves are slipppery after a storm and a simple walk to the mailbox can result in an injury. The Nor'Easters at this time of year are generally the ones that catch us unprepared and caught off guard.

A few reminders on this last day of October;

1. If your home has a generator, have it serviced for the season, fuel onsite and know your contact person for this as well as your electric, water, gas, oil etc.

2. Old fashioned camping lanterns are a great option to have handy. A flashlight will help guide you through the dark halls, a number of lanterns on hand will illuminate a room.

3. If you have a fireplace that you use, or one that can be used but too much trouble for your aging parents, in a time of need, when you are there to help, have your firestarter, wood and newspaper to make a fire. This will warm up a cold house, or at least the area where you can all gather and stay safe.

4. As Winter approaches, many of the same things mentioned above and a few additional "words of wisdom". Have a metal garbage can, one of the smaller ones at the entrances that are used. Whether you have a person who plows and shovels, a pail of salt or sand at each door with a scooper can eliviate so many falls on ice/black ice. Remember, our bones tend to get a bit more brittle as we age.

5. Keep that list of emergency contacts handy, the inside of a kitchen cabinet door is always a place that it won't get misplaced.

Stay Safe, Stay Warm and enjoy this beautiful time of year!

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