With many areas in the U.S. experiencing brutal heat, officials are urging families to keep a close eye on elderly relatives. There have been several heat-related deaths. One of the things that can keep a senior cool is air conditioning. What happens if the power goes out? Here are some tips that can help your mom and dad stay cool if there’s no power.
Shut the House Up
You want to trap the cooler air while it’s still cooler. As soon as the power goes out, shut all blinds and curtains. If there are windows without curtains, such as on a front door, use painter’s tape and put paper or cardboard over the window to block out the sun.
Eventually, the sun may warm the house up. The hope is that power is restored before that happens. If not, windows may need to be opened to allow air to flow through the house.
Dampen Clothes and Wear Them
Keeping the body temperature down is essential. Damp clothes make this possible. Dampen a t-shirt in the sink. Have your parents wear the damp t-shirt. As it dries out, it can get dampened again. This does help keep the body cooler when the heat is unbearable.
Head to a Basement
If your parents have a basement, it may be cooler down there. It may not smell great as basements can get musty, but it’s better dealing with odors than overheating. Canvas camping chairs are lightweight and easy to bring to the basement for seating.
Even with some cooler air trapped in the home or while staying in the basement, your parents shouldn’t be overly active. They should use the power outage to lay low. Sit and read a book or work on a puzzle together. They want to keep their activities to a minimum to help keep the body temperature lower. If they’re active, the heart will work harder to circulate the blood to push it to the surface of the skin to cool it off.
Make sure that you or someone you trust are checking on your parents each day. See that they have plenty to drink and foods that can be made without power. Bread, peanut butter, honey, and jelly are items that can be made into sandwiches without needing refrigeration.
If you live too far away and don’t know your parents’ neighbors, call an elderly care agency. You can employ caregivers to check in on your parents. Caregivers visit as often as you want and help with laundry, housework, meals, socialization, and transportation. Call today to learn more.