I recently learned a new tip to help all of us senior home care givers who have to be away from their aging parents for a time, or who help seniors who live far away.
Make a list of each fuse box’s location, which fuse controls which parts of the house, and write up directions for how to reset a breaker. I am planning on sending it to my email in my computer AND my cell phone so I have it at all times, along with the location of each of the sockets that have RESET capability on them.
It’s very rare that a fuse is blown or a breaker is tripped. When it does, however, it can be a real problem for your senior parent, who may not know or remember how to reset them. Couple their being upset or frustrated with your not knowing, or remembering, the step-by-step instructions you need to give them, and you could have a mini-crisis on your hands.
We discovered this idea when a senior friend who lives out-of-state was so upset because the microwave had broken. I explained to him that it was probably the breaker and had him check various things, such as the refrigerator and the garbage disposal. They all worked, though, so he was planning on buying a new microwave and really upset with himself for what had happened. Fortunately, before he got a chance to go shopping, he decided to use his blender. When he plugged that into a different socket, it didn’t work either. “Ah ha,” he thought.
He called his apartment manager and they tried to talk him through it by telling him to push the reset on the socket above the garbage disposal. There was no socket above the garbage disposal, though. Then the front office employees sent the maintenance staff over and they helped my friend get everything back in running order, by resetting the socket that turned out to be behind the microwave.
If he had lived in a house instead of an apartment, he might never have been able to figure out how to fix this until friends or relatives came to visit months down the road. Spending half an hour to compile a list of all the sockets and fuse boxes turns a bad problem into a simple and easily dealt with problem, no matter how many miles separate us from our aging parents and relatives.