A lack of air conditioning or another effective way to cool off during a heat spell can be physically dangerous to the elderly adult. The national observance to appreciate air conditioning straddles the two potentially hottest months of the year. While it’s true that the HVAC and air conditioning companies use this time to their advantage for marketing their products and services, air conditioning had almost become a necessity for some people.
Air conditioning was invented in 1932 and those who can afford it can hardly live without it. Prolonged exposure to excessive heat can cause heat edema, heat rash, heat cramps, heat stroke, heat exhaustion and dehydration. When you consider all other serious weather conditions such as hurricanes and tornadoes, there are more heat related deaths than by other serious weather.
It’s estimated that 83% of American homes have access to air conditioning, whether installed into the house or by portable air conditioning units. When the weather gets really hot, it isn’t too hard to appreciate air conditioning. If you don’t have any in your house, you can really feel the relief in an air-conditioned car or at the mall where it’s nice and cool.
For elderly people it’s especially important they have a way to stay cool. Young people, the elderly, and those who are ill or overweight tend to feel the effects of heat-related illness the quickest. Your loved one’s caregiver from in-home care service can help monitor the temperature inside the home and make sure your parent stays cool.
To make your air conditioner last longer:
- Change the air filter every month it’s being used.
- Have it serviced once a year, making it last longer and run much more efficiently. The cost of the servicing will pay for itself.
- Turn air conditioning down when you know you’ll be gone a few hours. Once you return, you can set it lower again. This works better than turning it off while you’re gone for only a few hours because it has to work harder to cool down the house when you get home.
- You can get your air conditioner to work according to your schedule for turning it on and off if you buy one with a timer and temperature control.
- Lights generate heat, so turn them off in rooms you’re not using. It’s a waste of energy plus it makes your air conditioner work harder.
- Clothes dryers produce heat. Try not to use them at the same time you have air conditioning on.
- In the evening if it has cooled off sufficiently outside, turn off the air conditioner and open the windows and use a fan to circulate the cool air. On very hot nights, you may need to run the air conditioner all night.
If you have a loved one who could benefit from the help of home care in Hilshire Village, TX contact the caregivers at At Your Side Home Care. We help seniors and their families with many levels of home care service. Call (832) 271-1600 for more information.
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