On New Year’s Day, some New York residents woke up to temperatures of -31 below. In Iowa, temperatures plummeted to 19 below. Even in southern states, temperatures were far below average. New Orleans saw forecasted highs not climbing higher than the upper-30s. Little Rock, Arkansas, hit the mid-20s.
With many states gripped by a deep freeze, heating and electricity bills are skyrocketing. What do you do if your parents simply cannot pay for the increases in electricity or heating fuel?
Call Their Company.
Start by calling their utility company. Ask if payment plans can be set up. Many companies would rather work with customers and break payments up over a few months than not get paid at all. Some will help them switch to plans that spread out the average year’s costs into 12 equal payments. Your parents won’t have to deal with the sharp declines and increases that come with seasonal changes.
Talk to the Agency on Aging.
Many states have emergency funds available for low-income residents. If your parents meet the criteria, they may be able to get some financial aid to cover the higher electricity and heating bills. LIHEAP is one of the programs to look into.
Ask Your Mom and Dad’s Church.
Sometimes, churches have funds available to help parishioners who are struggling to pay their bills. Not every church does, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Look Into Home Weatherization Projects.
Your parents probably cannot afford big projects, but you can make minor changes to lower heating bills. For less than $20, you can get plastic window kits that keep out cold drafts. These are easy to install and only require a pair of scissors and a hairdryer. Draft blockers, which can just be an old towel, will help keep drafts from coming in under a door.
One last thing to making sure heating bills don’t climb is to make sure your parents are not leaving windows or doors cracked open. Your mom might like to open her bathroom window a few inches during a shower. If she forgets to shut it, all of that cold air comes and drives up bills.
You might want to have an elderly care professional come to your parents’ home a few days a week and check on things. The caregiver can keep your mom and dad company, cook their meals, and give reminders to turn off lights, close doors and windows, and dress for the weather.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering elderly care in Bedford, TX, please contact the caring staff at Custom Caregivers today. Call us at (972) 702-7988.
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