Community Blog

Caregiver Safety in Inclement Weather

By Patti Soisson

When you are working as an in-home care professional, your clients depend on you for their safety and well-being. This makes getting to your assignments on time an incredibly important task, and that’s not easy when the weather kicks up and gives you trouble. Luckily, there are a few ways you can make sure that you are prepared for anything, no matter what your local weather conditions throw at you. The best part about these tips is that they work just as well for a caregiver who is a friend or family member as they do for a senior care professional.

 

Preparedness

 The key to being safe when the weather takes a turn on you is to know how to be ready for bad weather. That means having a few items that will help if you get stuck:

 

  • Kitty litter or sand for weight in the trunk and traction

  • Extra flashlights for visibility and signaling in case you are stuck

  • Portable battery jumpers or jumper cables

  • An extra blanket

  • A fully charged cellular phone

 

On top of these items, it’s also a good idea to make sure you are carrying extra food and water. That way, if you do get stuck on the way out or back, you have supplies in case you are waiting for a little while for someone to pull you out and get you on the road again.

 

While Driving

 There are also a few important defensive driving tips you should be aware of as you make the commute to your in-home care job in bad weather. They might not always prevent you from needing to use your emergency supplies, but they will help you to minimize the likelihood that you will wind up stopped on the road.

 

  1. Remember to take it slow. You have more time to respond to problems at lower speed, losing traction will not mean losing as much control because you won’t have the inertia to slide as far, and it helps you be sure you see all the hazards on the road.

  2. Make sure you are using the right lighting for the visibility. Fog lights can sometimes do more than bright headlamps under snowy conditions during the day, especially if the snow is heavy enough to reflect a lot of light as it falls.

  3. If you do start to slide, be conservative about wheel corrections so that you don’t accidentally make the slide worse.

 

When you are a caregiver, you know how important it is to be there for your client under all circumstances. That’s why it is important to know how to be prepared to get yourself to your in-home care appointments under all circumstances.