When a sign is a simple solution

February 16, 2018

 

 

My mother lives on her own with significant memory loss.  Thankfully (for us) my mother had voluntarily chosen to no longer use her open wood fireplace – one less safety issue!  Recently we installed a new split-level air conditioner to provide winter heating.  This was a revolution – making the country winters much cosier. 

 

Not long later, we had a couple of calls from concerned neighbours that my mother was putting a cover over the external unit (resulting in a significant fire risk).  In checking with my mother, she would explain that she was covering it to protect it from the weather.  I would explain that it is designed to be outside and would remove the cover.  Next time I visited, the cover would be back in place – questioning of my mother would result in either a denial it was her (someone else must have put it there!), or a concern that it needed a cover in the wet weather.  This behaviour was leading to growing concern from neighbours, as well as my mother’s regular support carer at the time, that she was becoming a risk at home on her own.

 

Then I hit on a solution – I simply positioned a clearly written sign on top of the external unit ‘warning – do not put anything over this unit’.  Problem solved – the unit has remained uncovered ever since – and my mother has remained safely at home.

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