High temperatures during the summers here in Pennslyvania always bring news stories stressing the importance of drinking plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and only going outdoors when it’s necessary. They also typically emphasize that the elderly take special precautions during high temperatures in general and particularly during a heat wave, which are most likely to occur in July or August. There is a good reason for this, and our friendly staff at Age in Place Home Care would like to remind you of just a few.
The elderly are known to be far more vulnerable to high temperatures. They are prone to sweating less and having poor blood circulation. Additionally, chronic health issues and the medications that one may take to address them can also interfere with the body’s ability to properly deal with higher temperatures. Given that seniors are more likely to have such health conditions, they are particularly vulnerable at this time of the year.
If you find yourself caring for one or more seniors at hot times of the year, it is important to take certain precautions. Our team of caregivers at Age in Place Home Care think you should consider the following things to prevent problems.
1. Stay Hydrated
This is obvious, however, it’s surprising how many people forget to do it. Older people, especially those with Alzheimer’s, tend to be more forgetful, so it’s incumbent upon you to ensure they drink water regularly. Also, have them avoid caffeine or anything else that can dehydrate them. Caregivers should have a bottle of water with them as a precaution.
2. Plan More Indoor Activities During This Time of Year
The best way to handle any problem is to avoid it altogether. If you know it’s hot and miserable outside, plan some indoor activities. You’ll probably be happier doing that as well.
3. Utilize the Morning for Any Outdoor Plans
Because it’s cooler in the morning, it’s important to plan anything outside as early as is convenient for you. Hot weather is a problem for seniors, but they should not have to become shut-ins for several months out of every year because of this. Prudent timing for taking walks or trips outdoors can avoid the problem, so senior caregivers should arrange them accordingly.
4. Recommend to Seniors That They Wear Light Clothing
This is something that is prudent, not to mention more comfortable, for all of us to do on really hot days. The direct sunlight beating down on them can be problematic in addition to the heat, so garments that cover most of their body, including a hat for shade over their eyes, are advisable.
5. Know About Any Cool Places Available Near Where You Are Planning to Go
If you are out with an elderly person during a heat wave, make sure there are places you can go to cool off. Such places may include a library, recreation center, coffee shop or shopping mall. You might even want to plan your trip to such a place, so the heat never becomes an issue.
A Convenient Senior Care Option
At Age in Place Home Care, we hope you find the above tips helpful. If you ever find yourself needing help with an aging parent or other elderly relatives, our senior caregivers provide quality assisted living services throughout Pennslyvania. These services include hospice care, disability care, and companion care. By taking the proper precautions, our caregivers believe that the elderly can still live full and happy lives while enjoying much of what the summer has to offer.