An AC outage can be a big deal for everyone in the house, but in situations where the temperatures could rise drastically, your elderly household members will be much more sensitive to the heat. If you are facing an AC crisis in the middle of summer and the temperature inside the house is rising fast, there are a few things you can do to help your elderly loved one stay cool and comfortable until the central air technician arrives.
1. Give your loved one a wet towel. - Even though this act sounds like a minuscule gesture, having a cool towel draped across your neck can actually help to regulate your body temperature and will definitely provide some relief. If your loved one is starting to feel excessively hot because of the outage, dip a hand towel in cooled water and help them drape it across the back of their neck or shoulders.
2. Place a bucket of ice in front of a fan. - If you have a floor fan or a box fan and a bucket full of ice, you can a blast of cool air that feels similar to that of an air conditioner. Relocate your elderly loved one to a small room in the house and set up a bucket of ice in front of the fan. If you don't have enough ice, you can also freeze a gallon of water and use this instead. The cool air drifting across the ice will help lower the temperature in the room.
3. At bedtime, offer a dampened sheet to drape across the bed or over the window. - Nighttime can be miserable in a scorching hot house when your loved one is used to having air conditioning to keep the space cool. A slightly dampened sheet draped across the bed while they sleep can help to keep them keep cooler. Or, you can drape a dampened sheet across a window if there is gentle breeze stirring and it will help alleviate the heat.
With a little ingenuity, keeping your elderly loved one comfortable and cool during an AC failure is a possibility. However, if the temperatures do rise and your efforts are not helping, it is best to take your family member to a cooler location. For more information about keeping cool during an outage, make sure you call up your local AC repairman for helpful advice. You can also visit websites like http://www.homesmartcolorado.com/.