As a family caregiver, you never want to think about your elderly loved one in danger or facing an uncomfortable or challenging situation. Unfortunately, these can occur quickly and with little notice, and if you are not prepared it can leave your senior facing a more difficult time than they would have if you had prepared. One such situation can be a power outage during the winter. Often caused by snow or ice, these power outages can leave your senior facing the same types of inconveniences and challenges of a warm-weather power outage, such as not being to cook or use running water, but with the added difficulty of the cold. Handling a wintertime power outage effectively is essential to avoid potentially catastrophic consequences.
Some things you can do to help you handle a winter time power outage with your senior include:
- If there is advanced warning of the potential for severe weather that may cause a power outage, consider having your aging parent come stay in your home with you. There may still be a power outage, but with them in the same home, it is easier to handle their needs and the rest of your family's needs
- Make sure your senior has access to a mobile device and emergency battery so you can keep in contact with them throughout the power outage. If you are unable to get to them, check in on them frequently remind them of things need to be doing, things they shouldn't be doing, and to check in on their condition
- Reach out to someone who lives in close proximity to your senior who may be able to get to them more quickly and then you can to check on them and make sure they are doing well during the power outage. Elderly adults are much more prone to cold then younger adults, so it is important to make sure they are warm
- If the power outage lasts for more than a few hours, it is important to get your senior to somewhere where there is heat. Bring them to a local shelter or to your home. If you cannot get to them, reach out to organizations in their area who may be arranging for rides for seniors to warming shelters
Making elder care a part of your senior's routine is a fantastic way to give both of you more confidence as they age in place. For your aging loved one, an elderly home care services provider represents independence, autonomy, and the ability to manage their health and well-being in the ways that are right for them. For you, this type of care relieves your stress and allows you to focus on all aspects of your life as effectively as possible without worrying about your senior.