Summer is here and the weather is warmer. And, it’s important to remember that seniors have a higher risk of experiencing heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion. However, that doesn’t mean that seniors can’t enjoy summer weather too. Caregivers and patients can work together to prevent heat-related illnesses.
Here are some tips to help keep seniors safe in the sun this summer:
Remembering to drink enough water every day can be challenging for anyone, particularly for seniors as their sense of thirst diminishes as they age and their ability to retain fluids declines. Additionally, many medications that seniors take can also contribute to dehydration making the summertime especially dangerous. Staying hydrated allows bodies to regulate temperature, which is essential during the summer months. Commons signs of dehydration are dizziness, weakness, and fatigue. When untreated, dehydration can lead to more serious conditions such as low blood pressure, exhaustion, and heatstroke. Caregivers can help seniors track their water intake to stay happy, healthy, and hydrated.
Wear Weather Appropriate Clothes
As people get older they may be less likely to notice changes in their body temperature making it difficult to dress for the weather. Typical warning signs like sweating may not occur in seniors as older individuals tend to sweat less, which also affects their body’s ability to cool itself. So, wearing weather-appropriate clothing is essential. Caregivers can help seniors select clothing that will help them stay cool as the temperatures outside rise. This includes dressing in loose clothing made from natural fabrics to allow for better airflow and light-colored clothing that absorbs less heat. And, when venturing outside seniors should always wear a hat and sunglasses to provide shade and protection from sun rays. Wearing weather-appropriate clothes can keep seniors feeling cool in the heat and safe from sun-related hazards.
Sit Back, Relax, and Stay Cool
During the hot summer months, seniors should avoid strenuous activity and overworking themselves. When enjoying the outdoors seniors should minimize their physical activity and take frequent breaks in shady or air-conditioned areas to prevent overheating. Staying cool can help them avoid heat-related illnesses like heat syncope, which causes dizziness and fainting, and keep them enjoying their summer. To help avoid heat syncope and other heat-related illnesses, caregivers can assist with daily tasks including household chores to help seniors stay off their feet and meal preparation to keep them out of the kitchen on hot days. When indoors, seniors should utilize air conditioning or fans to keep air circulating and keep blinds and drapes closed to block out the sun. And, caregivers can ensure that walkways are clear of fan chords to prevent falls.
Caregivers are trained to look out for the health and wellbeing of their patients and can help prevent heat-related illnesses from occurring. Visit www.AssistedCares.com to learn more about the services we offer and how we can help you or a loved one keep cool this summer.