Senior Care Tips: Preparing the Home with Upcycled Emergency Candles

By Robert D. Liken CPC, CTS, President

February 5, 2016

Senior Care in Fox Chapel PA

senior care in Fox Chapel PAA severe winter storm can be a frightening and potentially dangerous emergency with your aging parents, and there are few things as disheartening during such an event as realizing that all of your flashlights have run out of batteries and you have no light source when the electricity goes out. While using candles as your primary source of light during an emergency such as a severe winter storm is not recommended due to the potential for fire, if such a storm is going to be a part of your senior care journey in the near future, having a few emergency candles on hand can give you peace of mind that even if you and your aging loved ones are without electricity during the weather emergency you will still have some light.
Making your own upcycled emergency candles is a great way to prepare the home with emergency candles without pressing your budget or having to go out into an already-raging storm to find all of the things that you need. This project takes advantage of all of those partially-used candles that you have around your home as well as vegetable shortening that is convenient, inexpensive, and easily accessible.
Then all you need is containers and wicks, as well as a few simple kitchen utensils, and you are ready to make your emergency candles. This is a fantastic activity for your parents to do with their senior health care services provider as a mentally stimulating activity that will also give them a sense of accomplishment and control over their own preparedness.
What You’ll Need

  • Two cups of solid vegetable shortening
  • Old candles
  • Pre-waxed wicks or wooden craft sticks
  • Hot glue
  • Butter knife
  • Heat resistant glass jars or heat resistant ceramic mugs
  • Aluminum foil
  • Medium pot
  • Heat resistant spoon
  • Baking sheet
  • Waxed paper
  • Ladle
  • Funnel

What to Do

  • Use the butter knife to carefully break up the leftover wax at the bottom of your old candles or to break up partially used votive candles
  • Remove the wick and any metal pieces from the candles and put the wax aside
  • Line the pot with aluminum foil, making sure that it only overhangs the top edge by a few inches and lines the inner section smoothly
  • Put the solid vegetable shortening into the pot and turn on the heat to medium high
  • Stir the shortening continuously as it heats to keep it from burning
  • Break up the pieces of recycled candles and add them a few pieces at a time to the melted shortening. Make sure that you use colors and scents that go together to prevent clashing sensory experiences
  • While one person continues to stir and add the wax, have another prepare the containers by using the hot glue to attach the wick or the wooden stick to the inside bottom of the mason jar, mug, or other container. Make sure whichever you choose is long enough to extend high enough to not get covered by the wax
  • Once all of the wax and shortening are melted together, place the containers on the baking sheet lined with waxed paper
  • Have one person hold the funnel in place in the container and another person very carefully ladle the mixture into the container, stopping when it is 1/8 to 1/4 inch to the top of the wood stick
  • Allow the candles to solidify overnight or place them in the refrigerator or freezer to quicken the hardening time
  • Do not allow the candles to burn unsupervised.

If you or an aging loved one are considering in-home senior care in Fox Chapel PA, please call the caring staff at Liken Home Care. Serving Western Pennsylvania.  Call (412) 693-6820 or (855) 856-0551.