Summer is just around the corner, which means longer days, warmer temperatures, and plenty of sunshine. For your aging parent, it could also mean safety concerns if his or her home is not prepared for the hottest season of the year. Luckily, there are a few quick and easy things you can do to ensure your parent has a comfortable place to live, no matter what the thermometer reads outside.
1. Make Sure the AC and Fans Work
If your loved one has central air conditioning or window units, give them a test run to make sure they’re working. Replace the filters, clean out the dust, and check all the batteries and electrical connections. Do the same for floor and ceiling fans. If your loved one doesn’t have a floor or ceiling fan, consider adding one to the home to use as backup in case the AC goes down. Making sure the house stays cool should be a top priority.
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2. Control Pests
Summer doesn’t just bring heat. It also brings plenty of pests in the form of bugs like gnats, flies, ants, and roaches. The best way to keep insects at bay is to ensure the home stays clean and all leftover food particles are thrown away. Do an initial cleaning and pop in at least once a week to help with sweeping, mopping, and dishes. Encourage your parent to eat all meals in the kitchen. Set up traps in hidden areas if necessary, seal off openings where pests might enter, and if necessary find a good pest control service in your area to take care of the issue before it becomes a health hazard.
3. Ensure Water Is Accessible
One of the most important things your parent needs to do this summer is stay hydrated. While this may seem simple enough to the average person, it can become difficult for older adults who may forget bills or do not have access to the supermarket. Make sure the water bill is paid and caught up each month so your loved one never loses tap water, and make sure the ice maker works or ice trays are filled. You may also want to keep the pantry stocked with bottled water, sports drinks, and anything else your loved one enjoys drinking that doesn’t contain alcohol or caffeine.
4. Block Out the Sun
While natural lighting is great for home aesthetics and can even save on energy bills during the winter, having the hot sun pour in the windows during the summer can heat up a room quickly. Consider adding blinds or curtains to windows that aren’t properly covered. Encourage your parent to keep window treatments closed on the hottest days of the summer to reduce the temperature in a room.
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5. Check the Closets for Seasonal Clothing
Make sure your parent has plenty of cool summer clothing on hand. If his or her closet is packed with sweaters and thick pants, it is time to switch them out for lighter, thinner items. This might mean it’s time to plan a shopping trip, or it may simply mean bringing seasonal clothing out of the attic or basement. Either way, make sure your loved one has several cool summer outfits that are clean and ready to wear, including safe shoes for warm weather.
Consider hiring a professional caregiver if you need some time off from your caregiving duties to prepare your loved one’s home for summer. Orlando respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your loved one, give Home Care Assistance a call at (407) 232-7155 today.