With temperatures creeping up higher in the summer, you may be worried about how your senior can stay comfortable and safe. Spending too much time outside or not being properly hydrated can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. The truth is that due to aging, some medical conditions, and even several prescriptions, seniors’ bodies are not as able to adjust to temperature fluctuations as they once were. Most times, seniors don’t even know they are overheated. These seven suggestions for beating the heat can keep you, your loved one, and also a caregiver safe in the summertime.
1. Keep It Dark
Pull the shades closed especially during the hottest part of the day This is an effective way to keep your senior’s room cool, unless sundowning is a concern. The darker the space, the easier it is to maintain a comfortable temperature.
2. Stay Inside
Air conditioning is your friend in the summer, so stay in if it is just too hot outside. If you or a caregiver needs to leave for appointments or errands, try to schedule them early in the day before the heat gets worse.
3. Cool Off
When you are concerned about your senior getting overheated, try a cool, damp washcloth on the back of his or her neck. Rewet the cloth several times to freshen it, as their body temperature can warm it up quickly.
4. Drink Up
Staying hydrated is essential in the heat, but encouraging seniors to drink water can be a challenge. Vary what you offer throughout the day, such as flavored water, sports drinks, or popsicles, and try to limit alcohol and caffeine consumption.
5. Keep Them Off
A stove or oven can heat up the inside of a kitchen or small home quickly. Encourage cold plates, such as salads or sandwiches that do not require cooking. A microwave oven is a good alternative for heating up simple meals if they prefer a warm meal.
6. Embrace the Cold
While a hot shower has its benefits, they can also cause more harm in the warmer months. Help your senior cool off with a lukewarm shower or bath.
7. Reflect Light
Dark-colored clothing absorbs more light. Making you feel the heat on a warm day especially when the sun is shining bright. Switch to lightweight fabrics, looser fitting clothing, and pale colors to stay comfortable, reflect the sun’s rays, and get more air circulated near the skin.
The dog days of summer can be uncomfortable, especially during a heat wave, but your senior can stay cool as a cucumber if you or a caregiver tries these suggestions. For more ideas about senior safety, call Home Helpers of Drexel Hill.