Summers are getting warmer and for seniors who are aging in place, that means trying to find creative ways to keep cool when the temperatures climb to new heights. If your senior parent doesn’t have air conditioning now is the time to consider having it installed. But if your senior parent is struggling to stay cool now, or if you want to have some creative ideas for staying cool on hand in case the power goes out, you, your parent, and their home care aides can use these tips and tricks to keep cool:
Make A Modified Swamp Cooler
A swamp cooler is a device that people used to use to stay cool before air conditioners were invented. By directing air over ice or something cold you can reduce the temperature in a room by a few degrees. A very simple way to cool off using the idea of a swamp cooler is to fill a large bowl with ice and set it in front of a table fan. The fan will blow over the ice and blow the cool air throughout the room. You will need to have a good supply of ice but this is a pretty reliable way to cool off when it’s very warm.
Increase The Air Flow
When air is circulating in your senior parent’s home it will feel cooler even if the actual temperature isn’t cool. If your senior parent’s home has ceiling fans turn them on in a counter clockwise direction so they are blowing the hot air up. Open all the doors in the house to keep the air flowing throughout the house. Table fans or box fans in each room will help boost the airflow in the house also. If your senior loved one’s home has transom windows above the doors they should open those windows. A lot of older homes have transom windows that were put there to improve the airflow in the home.
Remind Home Care Aides to Block Out As Much Light As Possible
Blocking out the light will keep the temperature down inside the house. If possible your senior loved one or a home care provider should close the blinds or the curtains early in the morning so that the sun doesn’t make the house too warm. Thermal light blocking curtains work very well for keeping the sun out. Or, if your senior loved one like their current curtains you can get thermal lining that can be pinned on the back of any existing curtains to help reflect the sun and keep the house cool.
Before the weather gets too warm your senior loved one or a home care provider can run some extra sheets under cold water, ring them out, put them in a plastic freezer bag, and pop them in the freezer. When it gets to be too warm your senior parent can pull one out of the freezer, take it out of the bag, and lay the damp cool sheet over themselves like a blanket. It will help bring down their body temperature and cool them off. This is a great trick for staying cool at night when it’s too hot to sleep.