With the temperatures falling, your aging parent may be starting to worry about the increased cost of their energy bill.
Some seniors have difficulty paying their heat bill because of a limited income. That can cause them to keep the temperature in the house set too low. According to the National Institutes of Health, older adults are at risk for hypothermia if the thermostat is set lower than 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
Being exposed to temperatures lower than that for an extended period of time could result in hypothermia. Family caregivers who are trying to help their elderly parents lower their heating bills without lowering the thermostat may want to try some of the energy-saving tips below.
Take Advantage of Sunlight
During the day, open blinds and curtains to allow as much sunlight into the house as possible. This will naturally warm the house. Then, when the sun starts to go down, caregivers should close blinds and curtains again to trap the heat in, keeping the house warmer longer.
Make Use of Other Heat Sources
Although caregivers should remind their parents never to use the oven to heat the house, it’s okay to take advantage of certain activities around the house that generate heat. On a cold day, a family caregiver might want to spend the day at their parent’s house cooking multiple meals to freeze for later dates. The oven’s heat will warm up the house and the oven is being monitored because the caregiver is using it for cooking. Another way to add heat to the home is for the older adult to take a shower with the bathroom door open to release the heat into other parts of the house.
Encourage Seniors to Dress Warmly
Keeping the thermostat set at 68 degrees may still feel cold to your parents. To keep them feeling warmer and eliminate the need to turn up the heat, encourage your parents to dress in warm layers and wear socks in the house. If you’re concerned about them slipping while wearing socks, suggest that they also wear shoes or purchase socks with rubber grips on the bottom.
Turn Down the Water Heater
Turning the water heater down a few degrees can also save energy and lower the bill. If your parent’s water heater is set at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, consider lowering the temperature to 120 degrees. Water will still be warm enough for a comfortable shower and to get dishes and clothing clean.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Elderly Care in Braintree, MA, call the caring staff at Rivers of Hope today at 508-857-0629. Providing Independent, Dependent, and Companion Care Services in Brockton, Boston, Braintree, Avon Randolph, Abington, and the surrounding areas. riversofhopes.com