Power outages can happen for a lot of reasons. Bad weather is one of the most common causes, but the power can also go out because of problems in the lines or bad wiring. No matter what the cause is a power outage can be dangerous for your senior loved ones who are living in their home. Power outages during the winter are especially dangerous because the cold can very quickly become life threatening for seniors. The best things you can do to prepare your senior loved ones and their home for a power outage are:
Get Battery Operated Lights And Flashlights, Not Candles
Candles are not safe for seniors. Seniors who have poor grip strength may not be able to hold a candle or use a match or lighter to light it. Open flames are also for dangerous for seniors who could trip or fall and cause a candle to set something on fire. Instead of candles make sure that the house has plenty of battery operated lamps and flashlights that are designed for seniors so that they are easy to turn on and off. Keep extra batteries with the lamps and put everything in a spot where your senior loved one can easily reach it.
Keep Plenty Of Firewood In The House
If your senior loved ones have a wood burning fireplace or a wood stove in the house make sure the house always is stocked with wood. A senior in-home care provider can help stock the house regularly and make sure that the fireplace is in good working order. You should have a professional clean out the fireplace and check it for signs of wear or damage at least once a year to make sure it’s safe for use. Anything that is needed to safely start a fire should be kept in an accessible place.
Get A Landline Phone
Many seniors, like other people, have abandoned landline phones as old fashioned and unnecessary. But in the event of a power outage where your senior loved ones may not be able to charge cell phones or use cordless phones a land line can be a life saver. Keep the land line phone programmed with numbers for you, your siblings, neighbors, and emergency numbers for their doctors in the phone. An in-home care provider can help make sure the numbers are always updated. That way your senior loved ones will be able to reach people they trust for help in a power outage.
Keep The Car Stocked
If your senior loved one are still driving or still have a car they can stay warm in the car and charge phones in the car too if necessary. If your parents don’t drive but they do have a car put a survival kit in the car that has extra clothing, phone chargers with adapters, food and water, medications, blankets, and anything else they might need to survive an extended power outage. Always make sure the car is full of gas also. That way they can stay warm and safe even if they are not able to drive anywhere.