Summer time can be great for seniors, who are often more comfortable in the heat than the cold. But it is important to oversee your elderly loved one’s safety in the summer, where extreme heat could lead to extreme circumstances.
As you age, the receptors to notify you of thirst dull and weaken. Many elderly individuals suffer from bodily issues and lethargy because they are not properly hydrated. This can be further exacerbated by summer heat. Be sure to check that your loved one is drinking enough cool water throughout the day. Hydration is key to maintaining all of your body’s regulatory functions, including sweating. Sweating is how your body naturally cools off when it is hot. Without proper hydration, your loved one can easily overheat; which can lead to heat stroke. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine, which can actually dehydrate you.
Dress for the Summer Weather
Help your loved one dress for the summer heat. Avoid dark and tighter-fitting clothing in the summer months. Lighter colors and loose-fits can help them stay cool. Wide-brimmed hats can play a key role in staying cool and reducing sunburn risk on the ears, face, and neck.
Vitamin D is important for all, especially for the elderly who are often stuck inside more than most. But, prolonged sun exposure can be dangerous. Try to help your loved one limit their direct sun exposure to roughly 30 minutes per day. SPF 15 or higher sunscreen can help reduce the risk of sun damage and skin cancer.
Staying Cool in the Summer
Staying cool in the summer is important to maintaining safety in the summer heat. While drinking water is vital, be sure to spend plenty of time in the air conditioning. Visiting a mall or library is a good way to stay cool and avoid higher utility costs of running your A/C. The federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) can help your elderly loved one cover the cost of air conditioners and utility bills. Cool or lukewarm showers/baths can help your loved one stay cool; but avoid cold showers, which can constrict muscles. Pools can be a great way to beat the heat, but be wary of sun exposure in the pool.
Safe Harbor Healthcare Services does not provide medical or healthcare advice via articles. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for medical advice.
Safe Harbor Healthcare Services has been providing excellent home care on Staten Island since 1967. Our services help the elderly and disabled live safely and independently; while giving their families the peace of mind they need. For more information, contact Safe Harbor by clicking here, or call us at (718)-979-6900.