Seniors love summer as much as anyone, but as they age, it can be increasingly difficult to weather the season when the heat becomes both excessive and oppressive. If your senior loved one lives alone, he or she must be extra careful to take safety precautions to avoid dangerous conditions. Here are some suggestions to help your loved one manage the summer heat.
Stay Inside when Possible & Keep Hydrated
The higher the humidity and temperature, the more heat generated by the body and the harder it is to replace water lost by sweating. Seniors should drink 6–8 glasses of water per day, even if they don’t feel thirsty and spend most of their time indoors. Sodas and caffeinated beverages as well as alcohol should be avoided, but it’s fine to drink lemonade or iced tea.
Seniors may need help staying hydrated and maintaining a healthy lifestyle during summer and throughout the year. In Columbus, home care service agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
Keep Outdoor Exercise & Strenuous Activity to a Minimum
During the hottest time of the day (noon to around 4 p.m.), any outside activity can contribute to dangerous conditions such as heat stroke, cramps, and severe dehydration because the body is working doubly hard. Exercising in the early morning is recommended, and frequent breaks are a must, even when doing slower activities like walking.
Run the Air Conditioner 24/7
Keep the air conditioner set to a comfortable temperature. A wireless thermostat with a handheld remote control or a phone-controlled thermostat caregivers or family members can control is a great idea. Some seniors try to avoid turning on the A/C to save money, but they need to be convinced that it’s unhealthy to leave it off, especially during a heat wave. Keep curtains drawn and fans turned on to reduce energy bills.
Many aging adults with health conditions are particularly vulnerable to the effects of summer heat. Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional live-in care Columbus, OH, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver.
Stay Protected from the Sun
If seniors do go outside, it’s best to apply sunscreen to any exposed parts of the body to protect against harmful rays and sunburn. Wearing light, loose-fitting clothes (especially bright colors, which reflect the sun) and a hat to protect the head and neck are important. Seek shade if possible.
Eat Lighter Foods & Smaller Portions
Heavy meals are discouraged during the summer because they can make the body work harder and overheat. Foods that are best include yogurt, fruit, and vegetables. Vegetables and fruits with high water content, such as watermelon, lettuce, oranges, and cucumbers, also help with hydration.
Be Alert for Signs of Heat Exhaustion
Caregivers and seniors should be on the lookout for excessive sweating, weakness, headache, rapid pulse, nausea/vomiting, or muscle cramps. Call 911 if your loved one experiences any of these symptoms. You might want to invest in a senior alert system so your loved one can summon help should an emergency arise.
Even in the extreme heat of summer, your loved one can enjoy life and stay active with the help of a compassionate caregiver. Families looking for top-rated elder care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones. Call us at (614) 481-8888 to learn about our comprehensive in-home care plans.