Owners' Blog

Heat Stroke and Elder Care: Protecting Seniors from the Upcoming Hot Weather

By Greg and Hilary Eldridge

Elder Care in Alpharetta GA

Every year, close to 400 Americans die from the heat and a majority of them are elderly people. Many times the elderly don’t even realize that they are in danger from overheating. Elder care can play a crucial role in protecting seniors from the hot weather.

Due to poor circulation and their inability to sweat effectively, seniors don’t handle the heat as well as younger people. Adding to the risk are chronic medical conditions, heart disease, diabetes, dementia, obesity, and certain medications.

You might think that keeping them in an air conditioned environment is the easy answer to protecting your elderly loved one from the heat. However, many seniors are become too cold in air conditioned spaces as a result of poor circulation. Therefore, even though it is hot outside, they may feel the need for a sweater indoors. Shut the blinds in curtains on the east side of the house during the morning, and on the west side in the afternoon to keep the house cool without using an air conditioner.

Elderly home care should be sure to monitor the fluid intake during the hot weather. Drinking water and staying hydrated is vital for survival. This could be a challenge as some seniors prefer other types of drinks to water. Try to avoid sugary drinks or those high in caffeine. Frozen treats that have a high water and low sugar content, such as sugar free popsicles can be used to keep a person hydrated.

Home care for the elderly should also be on the lookout for signs of confusion or altered mental states when seniors are out in hot weather. This could be a sign of a heat stroke. If left unnoticed for too long, the elderly person could collapse or pass out.

Should a medical emergency occur, such as collapsing or passing out, call 911 immediately. Remove as much of their clothing as possible. Pour cold water all over the person’s body. At this point hydration is critical so have a cold drink ready for them as soon as they come to.

Wearing loose, lightweight clothing that is light in color is the appropriate way to dress for warm weather. Use a loosely woven or ventilated hat with a broad brim that will shade the entire face. Avoid hats that will trap the heat.

These are some helpful hints for elder care and how to protect seniors from hot weather. Be on alert for any signs that your loved one could be affected by the heat.

If you or an aging loved one are looking for senior care in the home, contact the caring staff at Home Helpers of Alpharetta. Call today (678) 430-8511