As we dig deeper into the dog days of summer, the extended periods of sunlight, increased humidity and higher temps can quickly have an effect on the wellness of older adults. Since hundreds of people in the U.S. die each summer as a result of heat-related complications, and many of those are seniors, it is imperative to take steps to ensure your older loved ones stay safe. Our Topeka home care experts can help! Bear these summer safety tips in mind, specifically when the outside temperature rises to 90 degrees or higher:
- Avoid sunlight during peak periods of heat. Restrict out-of-doors time to early mornings or evenings, or if the senior is required be outdoors in the afternoon, make certain he or she has access to plenty of shade. Staying in an air conditioned atmosphere is preferred. If air conditioning is not available in the person’s home, find community alternatives like the library or shopping mall to spend time during periods of extreme heat.
- Dress accordingly. Lightweight, light colored clothes are recommended when it is hot, and a wide-brimmed hat is perfect when out in the sun. And, don’t forget the sunblock.
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Nothing is better for hydration than plain water, although clear juices are also helpful. Just make certain the individual avoids caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, which have the opposite effect.
- Reduce bath and shower water temperature. A moderate temperature for showers and baths (neither too hot nor too cold) is suggested in hot weather. Positioning cool, moistened washcloths on the neck, ankles, wrists and armpits can also assist with cooling.
It’s important to keep a close eye on older loved ones during the hot months of summer, as serious heat-related problems, including dehydration, heat syncope, heat exhaustion and heat stroke, could rapidly manifest, requiring medical attention. If you notice the elderly person is suffering from weakness, headaches or muscle cramps, lightheadedness, confusion, nausea, or fever, call 911 or his or her medical professional immediately for assistance.
Grace Home Care’s professional Topeka senior care services provide families with comfort in knowing their older loved ones are protected, healthy and thriving at all times. We can help ensure that seniors are consuming plenty of fluids, that the home environment is cool and comfortable, that wholesome meals are prepared, and we can even take care of light housework and laundry duties, run errands, and provide transportation to medical appointments or fun outings. Whatever the need, Grace Home Care is on hand to help! Just take a look at what our happy customers have to say about us.
You can reach our Topeka caregivers at your convenience at 785.286.CARE to get started with enhancing wellness for your senior loved one!