Many family caregivers help their aging relatives financially. They may assist by managing the senior’s budget and helping them to pay bills. Some family caregivers even contribute their own money to the older adult’s care and bills. One of the bigger bills an older adult may have to pay is their monthly energy bill. If your older family member struggles to pay their energy bill, you may be able to help them cut home energy costs, so they can pay less. Below are 5 tips for caregivers to share that can help to reduce home energy costs.
#1: Change Habits
Does your parent neglect to turn off lights or leave the television on even when they aren’t watching it? If so, making some changes to their regular habits might help. Caregivers can remind the older adult to turn off lights and appliances when they aren’t in use. Another habit that can save energy is letting clothes air dry rather than always using the dryer. When the senior washes a small load, they might consider hanging them on a clothesline or rack to allow them to dry.
#2: Have an Energy Audit
Consider hiring a home energy professional to audit the home for the amount of energy being used and how it could be reduced. The professional can make suggestions for ways the senior can lower the amount of energy they use, thereby saving them money on energy bills. Caregivers may need to assist the older adult to find a home energy professional. It may also be a good idea to be there on the day of the audit to help the senior understand the information and feel safer with a stranger in their home.
#3: Use a Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat can be programmed to turn the heat down a few degrees at night while the older adult is snug under their blankets and then back up a little before they usually get up. By turning the heat down at night, the senior will save on overnight heating and may even sleep more comfortably in the cooler temperature. Family caregivers may need to assist with programming the thermostat, but once it is programmed, the older adult shouldn’t have to do anything with it.
#4: Turn Down the Water Temperature
It costs a lot of money to heat water. And, many people heat the water to higher temperatures than necessary. The older adult might consider turning the water heater down a few degrees. It’s likely they won’t even notice the temperature difference, but they will probably notice the difference on their energy bill.
If you or an aging loved one is considering caregivers in Brunswick, ME, please contact the caring staff at CareTree Healthcare today. Call today! 207-899-0774.