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Time to Protect Sandwich Generation Sanity From a Smoke Alarm That Keeps Beeping!

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A smoke detector can save lives but an elderly parents smoke alarm chirping because of low batteries can be an dangerous irritant

It's time for a change! A Spring, 2010, time change that is.  For Sandwich Generation senior home care givers and grandparents, that can mean double, or even triple + duty. Y'all know what I'm talking about. First we have to change our own clocks – namely, spring forward sometime between late today and first thing Sunday morning – and if we wait til then, we'll probably be late for church. 🙂 Then we have to:

  • Make sure our senior parents' clocks are correct. If they live with us, it's easy. Otherwise, we often need to call or send out emails to help remind them.
  • Change the smoke detector batteries in our smoke or fire detectors. I know, it's a pain to have to drag the ladder out. But think about how much we hate it when the smoke alarm keeps beeping because we did NOT change the alarm battery. 🙂 On a more serious note: "The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urges consumers to change their smoke alarm batteries when changing their clock for Daylight Saving Time this Sunday. CPSC estimated in 2003 that about 16 million homes in the U.S. had smoke alarms that do not work. In most cases, the batteries are dead or missing."  WOW! That was 2003! Can you imagine how many more smoke alarms don't have fresh batteries, all because their owners decided to ignore the smoke alarm chirping! Hopefully you're chuckling a little right now, but also thinking about it a bit more seriously. It's definitely worth doing.
  • Change our senior parents' smoke alarm batteries or remind them to do so. If they live a long distance from us and aren't able to do this themselves, help them find someone who can do it for them – perhaps through their church. Otherwise, when their smoke alarm starts chirping, they're probably going to call us, so we might be saving ourselves a middle-of-the-night headache! A  great resource, with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, is . They can help us find a good  – locally or long distance. 🙂
  • If we use a regular or combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarm, its batteries need to be checked and replaced as well.
  • Of course, any carbon monoxide detector that our aging parents have needs to have their batteries replaced as well.
  • We also need to check the AGE of the alarm units. The CPSC suggests we buy a new smoke detector every 10 years and buy a new carbon monoxide detector every 5 years. Sensors in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms degrade and lose effectiveness over time due to environmental contamination and age.   Remember, the best smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarms are the ones that are in good working condition! 🙂
  • It would be a wise idea, as well, to check our elderly parents' hearing each year to make sure they are able to actually hear a smoke detector. If you find that their hearing has deteriorated too much, you'll be glad to know that you can buy a hearing impaired smoke alarm for them. Amazon carries some, such as the Kidde SL177i Fyrnetics Hardwire Strobe Light hearing impaired smoke alarm and the Gentex 90dB Strobe Light Smoke Alarm
  • If you are a granny nanny like me, be sure all your grandkids' electronic gizmos are changed. Most will probably change automatically, but not always. It's always important to doublecheck.

When its time for a time change use Angies List to help you find a good home repair business to make household repairs as well as change the batteries in your senior parents smoke alarm so it will not start chirping

Whew! These time changes are getting easier thanks to all the clocks, cable boxes, etc. that are automatic. But as members of the Sandwich Generation, we have more to do than most, so it's still more work than it used to be! Not only that, various agencies keep coming up with really good ideas to tack on to this reminder, like these from the University of Oklahoma's Police Department:

  • Prepare and/or update a disaster supply kit for our house (water, food, flashlights, batteries, blankets). Be sure to put fresh batteries in the kit.
  • Prepare and/or update the disaster supply kit for your senior parent's home, as well, or remind them to do so.
  • In addition, I often remind my kids about the time change and appreciate it when they remind me. We all usually remember, but once in a while…!!!!  My philosophy is, it's better to get two reminders than none at all! 🙂

How about you? Do you follow all these steps? Do you have more to add? We'd love to hear your ideas and be even more organized Sandwich Generation senior home care givers and grandparents!!! 🙂 And, happy TIME CHANGE y'all.

When you need a reputable home repair business to do household repairs for you or your senior parents - you can check with Angies List for reviews

P.S. Did you know can also help us find in-home caregivers? Very handy for those of us in the Sandwich Generation, caring for elderly parents including their real estate needs!  ðŸ™‚ 

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Comments

  1. Protect Sandwich Generation – Smoke Alarm Keeps Beeping … http://bit.ly/bPiEKG

    • Mary
    • March 13, 2010

    Excellent tips, thank you!

    Mary

    • Donna Webb
    • March 13, 2010

    RT @SandwichINK: New at SandwichINK:: Time to Protect Sandwich Generation Sanity From a Smoke Alarm That Keeps Beeping! http://bit.ly/bJTAgo

  2. Hi Mary, Thank you 🙂 🙂 🙂

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