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Five ways to keep seniors safe during the hot summer months

While many think of the Chicagoland area as being cold in the winter, those of us who live here know it can get pretty hot and humid during the summer. The University of Chicago Medical Center conducted a study that found 40% of heat related deaths in the U.S. were among people 65 and older. This type of weather can be tougher on older adults because their bodies have a harder time adjusting to the high temperatures. At Home Helpers of Barrington, Palatine, Buffalo Grove and the surrounding suburbs we keep a close watch on those we care for to make sure they are not overheating or becoming dehydrated.

  • Consider the following five practical ways to keep you and your loved one cool and healthy this summer.
  • Don't rely on getting thirsty make sure they drink plenty of cool liquids while avoiding dehydrating drinks like alcohol or caffeine. One related idea is popsicles, they taste good when you are an adult too

  • Eat light, cold meals like chicken or pasta salad instead of heavy, hot dishes and try cool snacks like slightly frozen grapes.

  • Simply placing a cool washcloth on the back of the neck can make a big difference. Keep a container of water close by to freshen it up quickly and easily.

  • Sit with feet in a pan of cool but not extremely cold water.

  • Keep the house as cool as possible by keeping shades closed during the day and the fans running. If air conditioning is not available keeping the air circulating is extremely important.

John Browning, CSA