Summer in Florida, Can you handle the heat?
7 Summer Safety Tips to Keep Seniors Cool in the Summer
Summertime is fun time for many of us – even as it can get really uncomfortable. But that’s not the case with seniors. The summertime presents them with the risk of overheating and heat stroke, making the summer a dangerous time for the elderly if proper precautions are not observed. Consider some vital tips to help keep your loved one safe in this hot weather.
#1 – Arrange for regular check-ups
It is important that you never leave seniors by themselves for prolonged periods. This is even more important during the summer when there are chances of a heatwave. If you cannot make yourself available to regularly check up on them, arrange for a friend to do that or consider hiring a home companion.
#2 – Hydration is key
High temperatures encourage our sweat pores to pry open, leading to more sweat. Of course, when we sweat, we lose water and vital minerals. Drinking more water in this temperature helps keep seniors hydrated, and thus healthy. Do not wait until you are thirsty before you drink, and avoid using alcohol or caffeine.
#3 – Select appropriate wardrobe
Our body requires more air as the heat increases. Tight fitting clothes tend to trap in heat against the body increasing the risk of overheating in seniors. You will want to change the wardrobe during this time to contain light colored (essential for those going out into the sun), loose fitted clothes, and protective sunglasses.
#4 – Keep the home cool
Seniors sometimes tend to avoid the very appliances designed to ensure they are safe and comfortable. Make sure there is a fan or an air conditioner in their home, or purchase one if not available, and see to it that it is in use.
#5 – Restrict outdoor time
This might sound a tad contradictory from general advice for senior care. While it is important that they spend time outdoors, the summer brings something different. Seniors are better served by staying indoors during the hottest hours of the day. If they must go out, it should be to places with good air conditioning systems.
#6 – Watch your meal
We all love those hot dogs and burgers that spice up our summer picnic. Sadly, summers will be different as we get older. As the summer comes, it is time for the elderly to enjoy light, delicious cold meals. Vegetables, salad, smoothies, and fruit platters are just a few cold and healthy options to consider. Hot cooked or oven baked foods should be avoided at this time.
#7 – Education is vital
This is incredibly important as you make preparations to keep your seniors safe and sound. It has the benefit of making seniors more amenable to your plans and suggestions for the new season. Learn about the dangers of hyperthermia (associated with abnormally high body temperatures), identify the warning signs, and create an emergency plan if the symptoms are observed.
We all want to keep cool as the temperature rises around us, and that is part of what makes the summer a very interesting period. But it is especially important that seniors are kept cool during this time. And you can do this by following the basic steps outlined above.
Feel free to contact our expert Care Managers for more information on keeping your loved ones safe during the summer.