Summertime woes and it isn't even the middle of spring! Ahhh, but tell that to the weatherman! While Denver has yet another late snowstorm, we keep going back and forth between winter and summer. And in the midst of that, we discovered our air conditioner had died! I'm quite grateful we found out nice and early and that it's already back up, and running as I speak…err…type.
As I explained at SandwichINK Real Estate Info, that pesky little incident did remind me of some important seasonal tips to help all of us caring for the beloved aging parents in our families, like:
- Be proactive in preparing for any outage during extreme weather – hot or cold, power-related or equipment-related. So stock up on plenty of batteries, TONS of water bottles, lots of candles, flashlights and other battery-operated lights, and loads of easy to serve food like soup cans, V-8, crackers, etc. (Might want to throw in some good books and magazines while you're at it. And for all of us multigenerational caregivers, that can include comic books and easy readers for the grandkids as well as some fun mysteries and gardening magazines for our senior parents.)
- Make sure all of our portable computer equipment, cell phones, iPad, iPods, etc. are caught up on charging as much as possible – especially if a storm is predicted (BUT BE SURE TO UNPLUG THEM ONCE ANY STORM ARRIVES). And once the storm has passed, if the power has gone out and stays out, don't overlook free wifi restaurants in surrounding cities that DO have power. I lived at a local Panera's for a couple of days, just to keep up with computing I had to do. And thoroughly enjoyed their good food while I was at it.
- After spending two days without power on days that were very warm but not quite as hot as summer, I'm thinking about getting a second battery-operated fan just for such an emergency. We've never used the one we have, but if we ever need it, I know it will be MUCH appreciated!
- Make sure you can put easily put your hands on your emergency radios to keep apprised of the latest storm news. I, personally, like the hand crank ones in case the situation lasts so long we even run out of batteries.
- Make sure you, AND your senior parents if they live elsewhere, have at least one wired phone in your house. If the power goes out and the cell phone battery runs down, you'll be SO glad you did! Of course, if the whole phone line goes down, hopefully you can conserve that smart phone battery longer.
- If you do experience power outages and inconveniences, MAKE SURE you and your senior parents drink lots of water throughout as dehydration can be a serious problem on a good day. And a much worse problem in the midst of this kind of situation!
Wow! It's amazing what a brief period of no air conditioner on a hot day can do to my imagination, isn't it? And now, it's your turn. Got more suggestions? We'd love to hear them!