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My mom and brother live in a house with no air conditioning. My brother lives with mom, does not drive, and has a full-time job. We have an aide that stays with mom from 8:00 - 12:00. My 82 year old dad has been sitting with mom until the aide gets there, then he comes back until the aide leaves and he has to go and pick my brother up from work. My husband and I bought a portable air conditioner a couple of years ago, but it covers a small area, and even when it's on, the temperature in their house is still in the 80's. Mom has dementia, bathroom issues, and a heart condition, and cannot walk without a walker or assistance in a transport chair. So she never leaves the house unless she is taken to a doctor's appointment. Even then it takes 2 people to help her to the car. Is there anyone who can assist with making mom's house cooler? I am worried that mom or my brother will end up with heat exhaustion. There is no air conditioning where my brother works, either. This weekend the temperature outside is supposed to be almost 100, not including the humidity.

Brenda, we are in Streetsboro, which isn’t that far from you. I know that there are cooling centers around. I’ve seen them reported on the news. If you call CF City Hall, they can tell you where they are. Also, we have a community officer here in The Boro. He’s through the fire department and he will find help for people who need it. Call the FD and see if you have one as well. Or, you could call our’s. He’s Lt. Bucks and the non-emergency # is 330-626-4664.

Also, unsolicited advice, but summer comes around every year and we have summers here that are as brutal as our winters. Have you considered moving Mom and Brother into an air-conditioned apartment on the bus line? There are some nice ones in The Falls.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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I have a condo in the tropics which can be hot and humid. Even though we have air conditioning, we use it very little as it is too cold and very expensive to use. However, for us, the most comfort is simply using a fan to keep the air circulating.
For the short run, floor and table model fans work fine, even better if they rotate. Want to get a little more elaborate... install a ceiling fan w/ blades. It's moving the air that really makes the difference in comfort.
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brendak60 Jul 22, 2019
Thank you for your suggestions!
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Short term, please call AAA or your local fire department or EMT services.

A handyman solution is making an air condition from a cooler using a fan and a 4" U shaped plastic pipe connection (see https://tiphero.com/coolest-coleman-cooler ). Amazon has a very good fan for this purpose that uses AC or batteries (Treva 10-Inch Portable Desktop Air Circulation Battery Fan - 2 Cooling Speeds - With AC Adapter) for $22. The plastic pipe connector is about $1.50 and you can use the cheapest Styrofoam or plastic cooler you can find. Styrofoam may be easier because you can cut the lid with a knife. I use silicone sealant because it's gap filling to connect the fan and pipe, but duct tape will do. You just need to freeze ice blocks ahead of time. I have found ice blocks that sit up and not just rest on the bottom of the cooler work best. I use old cottage cheese containers and coffee cans to freeze the blocks, then stack them on a freezer shelf with wax paper between them. As the ice melts, I add more blocks but don't remove the water until the cooler is about half full. I also empty the melted ice water into the sink and use it to wet or dampen wash clothes to cool down. I'm not suggesting you can cool down a whole house this way, but I know you can cool down a room or two.

Close curtains to keep the heat outside. Consider hanging heavier towels or blankets over window curtains in full sun to slow the heating effect. Watch two thermometers, one in the shade outside (like on your porch or under a tree) and one inside your house. Don't open windows anytime it's hotter outside. When the overnight temperature drops and it's actually cooler outside than in, open the windows and use fans to exhaust air on one side of the house while pulling in fresh air on the other side.

Long term economical solution for a home without any HVAC venting may be installing ductless heat pumps. The air exchanger for each zone is mounted on an exterior wall with only two small holes cut through the wall for the hoses from the heat pump. They come in 2-4 zone models and cost from $800-$2500. It takes an electrician to run the electrical lines but you may be able to get someone from Habitat for Humanity to install for free. My brother (the electrician and general handy man) recently installed two units in an older 3BR ranch house; one 3 zone unit for the bedrooms ($1200) and a 2 zone unit on the other end of the house for the eat in kitchen and living room ($800). Your local electric company may sponsor loan programs to purchase and install these units.

Good Luck staying cool this weekend.
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brendak60 Jul 19, 2019
Thank you so much for all of your suggestions! I will check into the long-term solutions.
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I live where temperatures are often over 100° in the summer.

One solution to keep them cooler during a heat wave is to wet a sheet and put that over them, then have a fan to blow over the damp sheet. It works better if the sheet is on your skin but may be too much for a senior. At night do the same thing, go to bed with a damp sheet and by the time it dries the weather should be cooler.

Get some electrolytes, whether you order them online or purchase at a local medical and safety supply store or they can drink Gatorade. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are caused because of our electrolytes being to low, sweating causes this to happen, so replenishing these vital nutrients is essential.

Please have your dad take them to, since he is at risk because of his physical activities and being exposed to the same heat.
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brendak60 Jul 20, 2019
Thank you for the suggestions! I'm not sure mom would go for the wet sheet, since she says she is always cold. She does drink Gatorade, and I also recommended Pedialyte to my dad. We used to keep it on the job site for construction workers. It seems to have more electrolytes in it, and provides quicker recovery time if there is heat exhaustion. And yes, I worry about my dad, too! Mom is 81, and dad is 82.
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Don’t try to cool the entire house, just do certain portions of it. Close doors to segregate the areas, hanging sheets or blankets in open doorways if necessary. Doesn't look very pretty, but is very effective. Windows shut, blinds closed, curtains closed, too. These all work for those hot hot summer days and those cold cold winter days.

Move the air around with oscillating fans (I find the low or medium speeds work best). Or ceiling fans (medium speed).

If you have FB, put out an ISO (in search of) for small window ACs & put the reason down (elderly parent). You would be pleasantly surprised how generous people can be.

Before we put in central air on the 2nd floor of our home where the bedrooms are, we had window units in the bedrooms. As our house faces south & there is no shade, those rooms could get HOT. During the day, heavy curtains, blinds & windows closed made a huge difference, as did keeping doors open and the ceilings fans on medium to just move the air around. The ceilings fans would go off, the ACs would go on, & the doors would be shut about an hour or 2 before bedtime. When it was time for bed, the room would be nicely chilled; AC would be turn off, ceiling fan put on low, and door kept shut. Very very effective — and we still do that for the 2 floors without central air.

I don’t like AC much, so I used all the old-fashioned ways of keeping cool. When my husband worked in an environment with no AC & the temps got well above 100 consistently, I would put the AC on in 1 room so he could cool down when he got home. That, and a quick cool shower, did wonders for him.

Oh, and cool cloths nearby, even if just to put on the wrists or neck for a short bit of time. Good luck!
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brendak60 Jul 22, 2019
Thank you so much for your suggestions!
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brendak60, it would be great if there such programs where a new air condition system is installed into a home. But there could be roadblocks such as no central heating where the same duct work can be used for A/C. And if such programs existed it would be funded by the State taxpayers.

Depending on where your parents live, check to see if there will be any cooling shelters, such as community centers, schools, senior centers that would be open during the day to help the seniors spend their day in air conditioning.

Chances are a motel/hotel would be out of reach cost wise for those really hot days/nights.

Does the house have a basement? If yes, is there an easy access? Basements usually are cooler than the rest of the house. My parents [90+] during a brown-out where the electricity went out, took into the basement lawn chairs and some battery operated lanterns. Of course, one would need to plan ahead for bathroom stops.

Back in the olden days I remember reading that people had upstairs sleeping porches to use on hot nights.

One could get some ice and have a fan blow over the ice. I am making ice now for this weekend in case the power goes out, then I can put ice in zip lock bags and use those to place around me to help cool down.

Make sure there is enough finger type food in case the power does go out and cooking is out of the question.
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Go get a couple of the smaller 110 window units for a couple of rooms in the house. They are not that expensive. It may feel warm to you, but people who are used to the heat do quite well if you can get the temp to about 78. Even groups that help often provide fans or a small window unit - it's not likely your going to find someone to do central air/heat if that's what you're thinking about. Oh yes, and some floor fans to direct the a/c you have and move it around the room. Does wonders even if you have ceiling fans
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Isthisrealyreal Jul 21, 2019
These are very expensive to run. My dad thought it was the best way and increased the power bill by 300.00 monthly.

Be sure and get one that has an energy rating.
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-Buy more window fans
-If possible, stay in the lowest room of the house
-Close all curtains
-Close all blinds
-Provide ice water
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brendak60 Jul 22, 2019
Thank you for the suggestions! They have a couple of fans - I think maybe a couple more might help.
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Call the Office of Aging. See if there are programs. Maybe your electrical Company. They may even be able to offset some of the cost.

Use fans when running a/c. It helps to circulate the cool air. Make sure curtains are closed where the Sun comes in. If cooking, if u have a over the stove fan, use it. It pulls the hot air off the stove and cools it down. Houses tend to warm up at dinner time.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Your parents may not feel the heat like you do. My mother(92) actually had her heat on when it was in the upper 70s. Make sure they drink though
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brendak60 Jul 22, 2019
I agree. My brother controls the thermostat, and with mom's dementia, I don't have to worry about her turning the heat on. :-)
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