The longer days of summer mean extra time for swimming, family cookouts, gardening, and all of those other enjoyable seasonal pursuits. Yet it also means a greater risk for a variety of health concerns for older adults, who are more at risk of heat-related issues such as:
- Heat syncope (faintness/dizziness)
- Heat cramps
- Heat edema (swelling)
- Heat exhaustion
- And the most severe: heat stroke, an emergency needing immediate medical aid, exhibiting with signs and symptoms which include:
- Fainting, sometimes to the point of unconsciousness
- Behavioral changes such as moodiness, irritation, confusion, loss of balance, and others
- Elevated body temperature
- Flushed, dry skin
- Pulse rate that is either weak and slow or rapid and strong
- A lack of sweat
Adding to the danger even further are factors such as:
- Long-term conditions, in particular lung, heart, or kidney disease
- High blood pressure levels
- Select medications, such as diuretics and sedatives
- A BMI that is above or below normal
- Usage of alcohol
- Poor blood circulation
- And more
How might you most effectively help the seniors you love take pleasure in all that summertime can offer, while avoiding a medical crisis? We’ve compiled some important hot weather safety tips.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Ensure an abundance of non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages are always in reach of your older loved ones.
- Maintain a cool home environment. In the event that the house is not air conditioned, make sure shades are kept shut in the day, fans are utilized, and windows are opened each night. If it is still uncomfortably warm, look into alternative arrangements during the day, such as attending an adult day program or passing time at the mall or library.
- Design activities appropriately. Limit exercise as well as other physically-exerting activities to the coolest points of the day: during the early morning hours or evening. It’s also best to eliminate running errands during peak times when shops tend to be more crowded.
- Dress sensibly. Loose-fitting clothing created with natural fibers, such as cotton, are most comfortable. When outdoors, add a large hat for shade, and of course, an adequate amount of sunscreen.
- Assign a buddy. During family get-togethers, identify someone to be on hand to keep a close watch on older loved ones to make certain they remain comfortable.
For further hot weather safety tips for seniors, contact Grace Home Care, providers of top-rated senior care in Topeka, KS. We are also the perfect companion for seniors throughout the summer months and beyond, offering as much or as little care and support in the home as needed to ensure optimal health and wellbeing, including meal preparation and monitoring food and fluid intake, engagement in interesting conversations and pastimes, transportation to fun excursions, and much more.