Home Protection Tips For Snowbird Travelers
With last year’s polar vortex fresh in the minds of many Americans, the flock of snowbird travelers could grow considerably this season as folks head to the sunny states. Whether families spend a couple of weeks or the majority of the winter in a different state, preparing a residence for a prolonged absence is important. Snowbird travelers must protect their homes from the forces of nature and potential burglars or trespassers.
Protect your home before you fly the coop with these tips.
1. Forward mail, stop newspapers and have a neighbor collect fliers. A house with mail and papers piling up is a sure sign the owners have flown the coop.
2. If absent during the growing season, snowbird homeowners must make sure someone is mowing the lawn. This maintains the appearance that someone is in the residence and keeps the property in compliance with local ordinances.
3. Ensure motion sensing exterior lights are working, some interior lights are on timers and alarm systems are activated.
4. Close fireplace flus to prevent birds, bats and rodents from making their way indoors.
5. Clean the kitchen and pantries before leaving. Even a small amount of garbage or loose food could be signal to bugs that the buffet is open.
6. For season-long trips, it’s a good idea to unplug and defrost freezers and refrigerators and turn off the water.
With fuel prices the lowest in four years, more than 40 million Americans are expected to take to the roadways, railways and airways as they head home for the holidays. Take advantage of one of the few occasions when multiple generations gather under one roof to observe signs of decline in aging loved ones.
“Adult family members visiting their parents over the holidays should be aware of the obvious,” says Mary Merrell Bailey, an estate planning attorney. Bailey suggests watching out for a combination of the following factors:
- Is the mail piled up or unopened, or are there notices from creditors?
- Were mom’s family recipes burned or not cooked enough?
- Is there insufficient food in the pantry or decaying food in the refrigerator?
- Are the pets being cared for and is the home being maintained as usual?
- Does the car have signs of damage?
- Are there changes in personality, hygiene, or ability to engage in dinner conversation?
According to Bailey, spotting issues early on can help ensure that seniors who are living independently will receive proper care if their condition progresses. Mismanagement of financial and legal affairs, which often occurs with diminished capacity, can be addressed through legal guardianship proceedings.
Source: Your Caring Law Firm