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Help your residents stay warm this winter with these tips

Posted by Kate Donnelly | Monday, November 16, 2015

Help your residents stay warm this winter with these tips As the lead family from everyone's favorite HBO show is fond of saying, winter is coming. Even if you aren't familiar with the smash hit "Game of Thrones" or the Stark family famous for frequently uttering those words, you know that fall is soon going to give way to winter, and the time to make preparations is now.

When you're running an assisted living community, one of the main concerns in the colder months is staying warm - and keeping your residents nice and toasty as well. Unfortunately, many conventional heating methods, while effective, are expensive. If you want to keep the temperature up and your operational costs down this winter, you may need to get creative.

Here are three tips to help your residents and staff stay nice and warm this winter, without racking up a costly heating bill in the process.

1. Layer liberally

By far one of the simplest and easiest methods to implement when it comes to staying warm is just adding additional layers to your wardrobe. Thermal undergarments, extra layers of outerwear and even blankets can all be used to help your residents stay warm. One of the best things about layering is that it allows every occupant of the residence to control his or her own temperature independently. Too cold? Throw on a sweater or a pair of socks. If you're starting to feel the heat, simply remove a layer.

This strategy isn't just useful for staying warm specifically, it can also help to regulate body temperature during the cold season so you don't overheat as well.

2. Don't forget your feet

Remember when you were a kid and everyone told you that your body heat escapes primarily through your head? As it turns out, this isn't strictly speaking the case, but the principle behind this folk wisdom is sound - if you don't cover a part of your body, it will be more difficult to keep warm. This goes for all parts, from your head all the way down to your feet. Layering effectively can help keep you nice and toasty, but if residents neglect their feet and stroll around barefoot, much of the work done through layering is thrown out the window. Ensure your residents know to keep covered from head to toe, whether it's a pair of slippers or a nice cozy pair of socks.

3. Check the windows

In terms of building infrastructure, few components of your community can have as significant an impact on indoor temperature than your windows. You already know that not all windows are created equal, and if your community building is older, you may not be outfitted with the most energy efficient options.

If you don't want to spend the money on replacing older windows, you can still do quite a bit to make your existing windows more energy efficient. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you should inspect all your windows for cracks around the frame. Any fissures you find that are less than one-quarter inch wide should be caulked. For cracks in non-stationary components like doors, weatherstripping can have a similar effect.