Monthly Archives: July 2016

7 Air Conditioning Tips To Stay Cool for Cheap

7 Air Conditioning Tips To Stay Cool for Cheap

August is less than a week away, and that means we are approaching the hottest time of the year. Even though it has been a mild Summer so far, the 10-day forecast is calling for temperatures to reach the 90s.

As the temperature increases, it is critical to keep your elderly loved one hydrated and at a safe bodily temperature to prevent heat-related illness.

In fact, although the Center for Disease Control warns that everyone is at risk of suffering from heat-related illness, the CDC recommends to keep an extra careful watch on elderly loved ones.

During hot spells, there are many ways to keep your elderly loved one cool and safe. In the past we have blogged on ways to reduce your elderly loved one’s risk of experiencing a heat-related illness including: drinking cool beverages, avoiding alcohol and wearing lightweight clothing.

These are all great ways to reduce your loved one’s risk of heat-related illness. Another great way is to keep your elderly loved one comfortable in a living space outfitted with an air conditioning machine. However, air-conditioning units are often associated with higher-than-normal electric bills, and on a limited income, this could become an issue.

In this week’s blog, we will explore ways to maximize your air conditioning while maintaining a reasonable electric bill.

Get a Checkup
Much like our bodies, air conditioning units need check-ups to make sure they are running at peak performance. A licensed HVAC specialist will be able to inspect it and tune it up for a reasonable cost.

Shade Your Unit
If at all possible, keep your unit in the shade or build a covering for it. Air is naturally cooler in the shade which makes it easier for your air conditioner to cool the air and use less electricity. You will also want to make sure that there is no shrubbery around your unit, as this blocks the air intake and makes it work harder.

Give Your Thermostat Some Space
Be mindful of where the thermostat in your elderly loved one’s house is located and make sure that you refrain from placing lamps, televisions and other heat producing appliances near it. If adding a new thermostat, it may be helpful to put it in a shaded part of the house. This will prevent your air conditioner from over-compensating for a poorly placed thermostat.

Many people think about weatherizing in the winter when they want to prevent heating the outside. The same is true in the Summer with cooling. Making sure your windows and doors stay closed and there are no cracks where air is escaping will reduce your cooling bill. 

As we mentioned earlier, the more shade around your house, the easier it will be to keep cool. In addition, avoiding landscaping elements such as stone work or paving will help reduce the temperature around your house.

Fan it Out
If your elderly loved one’s house has fans and you can rest comfortably in front of a fan, this will be a great alternative to air conditioning. Research suggests a typical fan uses about $1.50 worth of energy each month, compared to $25 per month for an air conditioning unit.

We hope this helps keep your elderly loved one cool and safe as we experience the hot August days.

Bonus Tip:  Many public places including senior centers and public libraries have air conditioning and encourage senior community members to take advantage of it if they need to.

6 Summer Activities for Your Elderly Loved One

6 Summer Activities for Your Elderly Loved One

After the hot spring we had here in the Pacific Northwest, many expected this Summer to be a scorcher. It’s hard to believe it is July now and the weather is overcast, fairly wet and consistently cooler than April/May weather.

While those who enjoy water sports may be disappointed in the Summer weather, the cooler weather is perfect for our elderly loved ones. Not only is it safer for them, it also makes it easier for them to get outside and enjoy some outdoor activities.

Before we know it, Fall will be here and the rain will be around to stay. These 6 Summer activities will help your elderly loved one get the most out of this perfect Summer weather.

Go Fish!
Considering the fact that fishing does not require much movement, it is the perfect Summer-time activity for people of all ages. In fact, many fishing holes are wheelchair accessible.

Just Keep Swimming.
Water aerobics and swimming provides seniors with a great workout that builds muscles, stamina and cardio without having the high-impact effects working out on land has.

Go Metal Detecting.
Metal detecting is a great way to get outside for a leisurely activity that also doubles as good exercise. Go explore new places and who knows, you may find a treasure.

The Kite Runner
Flying kites is a great summer pastime for people of all ages. If you live near a beach, make a day of it. Enjoy the sand, sun and wind.

Color Your Thumb Green.
Ok, so don’t really color your thumb green, but you know what we mean. Gardening is a great summer activity for your elderly loved one. There are plenty of crops you can plant now and sow in the fall. All that bending, pulling and moving provides a safe yet very effective workout for your loved one.

Hit the Tees.
Golfing is another great summer activity that doesn’t require too much physical strain. Although you may want to plan an early morning game as it can get hot on the greens later in the day.

We hope these activities have inspired you to take your elderly loved one outside to enjoy this perfect Summer weather. As always, if you care for an elderly loved one and would like help developing an extensive care plan, we can help. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

The Caregiver’s Guide to a Safe Independence Day

With more than 80% of Americans attending a cookout or get together, the fourth of July is perhaps the biggest event of the Summer. This year, the 4th of July lands on a Monday, making it a long weekend of friends, food and fireworks.

According to statistics, Americans will consume 150 million hotdogs on this July 4th. Furthermore, in the week leading up to July 4th, Americans purchased over 700 million pounds of chicken, 190 million pounds of red meat and nearly $500 million worth of fireworks in preparation for Independence Day festivities.

With all the fun Independence Day brings, the combination of hot summer weather, fireworks, drinking and eating makes it a potentially dangerous holiday for our elderly loved ones.

This week on our blog we are covering tips to ensure your elderly loved one has a fun, safe and healthy July 4th.

Let’s Party!
There are several things you should plan in advance before bringing your elderly loved one to an Independence Day cookout. Since many cookouts are held outside you will want to make sure your elderly loved one has:

  • A comfortable, backed chair for them to sit in
  • Weather appropriate clothes and sunscreen on. Since many parties go into the night, layer clothing in case it gets cool.
  • A safe, shaded place away from the heat of the grill.
  • If your elderly loved one is wheelchair-bound, make sure the party location is wheel-chair friendly.
  • Finally, make sure the bathrooms are close and easily accessible.

Let’s Eat!
Fourth of July parties bring out the best in Summer cooking: burgers, brats, salads, desserts. While eating these foods in moderation is ok, it is important to also provide healthier alternatives for elderly loved ones. Considering the hot weather, dehydration is a very serious risk for elderly loved ones. It is recommended that they avoid alcohol and always have a glass of water close by.

Let’s Play!
Whether you’re 6 or 60, one of the best parts of any picnic is the activities. There are many senior-friendly activities that are fun for picnic goers of all ages. Here are just a few of our favorites:

  • Have a patriotic sing-along
  • Games Galore- Cribbage, Risk, Sequence, Scrabble, Charades. The list of fun picnic games goes on and on.
  • Have your elderly loved one teach you a game from their childhood.
  • Create paper flags or other patriotic crafts.
  • If it is simply too hot, pop in a good patriotic movie and enjoy the comfort of air conditioning.
  • Finally, enjoy the fireworks together.

As always, if you care for an elderly loved one and would like help on the fourth of July or developing an extensive care plan, we can help. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Happy July 4th!