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Caring for an Aging Parent’s Home
Many senior adults prefer to stay in their own homes as they age. The “Aging in Place” movement reflects aging adults’ desire to avoid moving in with family or other assisted living options. If this sounds familiar, you may be wondering how you can help your aging parents remain in their home safely. Let's look at two things you can do to get started.
Of course, your first concern for aging parents is their safety in the home. Many aging Americans reside in older homes that may benefit from electrical upgrades for increased physical safety and security. Some older homes may not be up to current electrical codes, primarily to accommodate modern electrical demands. Larger, tech-filled appliances and more electronic entertainment options can tax outdated electrical systems.
Wilcox Electric offers a value-priced Electrical Safety Assessment to identify common electrical hazards. This in-home examination of your aging parents’ home includes:
- Check the electrical service panel and wiring.
- Tighten screws and lugs on circuit breakers to ensure proper functioning.
- Check for double-tapped breakers to eliminate overloading a circuit breaker.
- Ensure that the panel’s main breaker size does not exceed the SEC cable’s size entering the property.
- Check all outlets with a tester, looking for loose connections, open grounds, neutral wires, and proper polarity.
- Test/inspect GFCI outlets and breakers
- Survey for proper surge protection
- Check smoke detectors and make recommendations, if necessary, for full compliance with local electrical codes
These are essential steps to ensuring that your aging parents can live comfortably in a safe home as they enjoy growing through their later years. Wilcox Electric can perform the necessary upgrades to correct any deficiencies.
According to the 2017 Aging in Place report from HomeAdvisor, smart technology is growing into an essential tool for those who wish to age-in-place. The report shares information from over 800 homeowners aged 55-75 and above. Smart home upgrades were frequently mentioned as top home improvement projects for aging adults.
Here are some of the best suggestions for using smart technology to enhance living and safety for your aging parents who prefer to stay home.
Install Smart Smoke Detectors
Smart alarms protect against carbon monoxide as well as smoke and fire. New programmable smoke alarms can alert friends, neighbors, and family of any emergency incidents and automatically call emergency services. This is a huge plus, allowing the family to keep a distant eye on elderly parents at home.
Many accidents that the elderly suffer in the home come from trips or falls. Minimize this risk by installing motion-sensor lighting to provide automatic illumination in high-risk areas like stairwells, hallways and bathrooms.
Install a Smart Security System
Smart security systems provide peace of mind for you and your aging parents. Bundles typically include door and window sensors controlled and monitored by a central in-home hub and a smartphone app. You could also consider monthly professional monitoring. In addition, a smart lock allows for remote opening and locking, as well as providing digital “keys” for guests or family.
In whatever way you decide to proceed, we congratulate you on thinking ahead to help make it possible for aging parents to live safely in their own homes.
Wilcox Electric has been your local Washington DC electrician of choice since 1989. To schedule an electrical assessment, or inquire more about home upgrades for your elderly parents, get in touch with us today.