Do you ever feel like "when it rains, it pours?" I know that feeling well. The day I broke my foot, a 5th metatarsal fracture to be exact, the lightbulb in my hallway light fixture also burned out. I didn't cry, but it was a bit frustrating. On top of that, since it is right next to the very edge of the stairway, I chose to ignore it for the past three weeks. Granted, that wasn't quite pouring. Sprinkling maybe? 🙂
Today, my bedroom light burned out! Since my foot is feeling a bit better and I am feeling less wobbly, in spite of my fracture boot, I decided it was time to replace both bulbs. Carefully using a chair, I successfully changed first the hallway light bulb, and then the bedroom bulb. As I did so, I was thinking how irritating these light fixtures were – requiring me to unscrew the bulb cover, (complete with losing one of the screws), then unscrew the bulb, and then replace the bulb, and THEN do it all in reverse.
Now granted, it took me all of 5-10 minutes, and that was with a broken foot. But for those of us in the Baby Boomers Generation caring for elderly parents, it's definitely important food for thought. My senior dad, with Parkinson's symptoms, could never have changed either of these in the last few years of his life here. My senior mom would have a very difficult time as well. I have two suggestions for all of us:
1. Every time we visit our senior parents, check that all their light bulbs and light fixtures are working. Some aging parents do ask about everything, but many more are like my sweet senior mom. They hate to be a bother to anyone, so they just ignore the bulb like I did. Not a problem if you have extra lamps, like I do. But a definite safety hazard for a senior parent trying to navigate when there is too little light!
And if you don't live near by? I'm blessed that a senior parent, who doesn't live near by, has awesome neighbors to help. If your senior parents don't have that option, perhaps you could make arrangements with a local handyman to have him come over every few months to fix all those pesky little things that are easy for us to fix but hard for our senior parents! If they don't know any local handymen, I have an excellent resource for finding one – I've been using Angie's List in Kentucky for several months and have been very pleased with their service, even though I live in a smaller area that doesn't get the same type of coverage some one in a big city like L.A. would get.
2. If a light fixture breaks (or even if it doesn't), replace them with modern light fixtures and look for ones that don't have a cover that screws over the light bulb. They aren't always easy to find, but they are well worth it. Then, when a aging parent goes to replace a bulb, they only have to unscrew the old bulb and screw in the new one. Much quicker and easier. This is especially helpful if your parent also has Parkinson's Symptoms, worsening arthritis, or other conditions that make it harder for them to maneuver.
As a matter of fact, I routinely install those types of modern lighting fixtures in my homes, whenever I have the opportunity. They provide more light and save me time. Well, true confession time, I don't have a clue how to install a light fixture, so I call someone who can, usually through Angie's List. 🙂 But for those of you less tool challenged than me… 🙂
As a busy member of the Sandwich Generation dealing with the issues of caring for elderly parents as well as having fun and staying busy with activities for grandparents and their grandchildren, like discovering the fun parks in and around Elizabethtown, Kentucky, I always welcome great ways to save time! Don't you? 🙂 🙂 🙂