In the heat of summer, it’s always important to remember to help our seniors stay cool in the warm weather. If the senior in your life enjoys being outdoors and enjoying the fresh air, it’s a big plus. Just as in the winter we think about keeping warm, staying cool and hydrated during the summer months is equally as important. Don’t use your own heat tolerance as a baseline for your loved one. Your personal heat tolerance is not the best measure for an elder. Some things to consider:
1. Certain medications can make someone more sensitive to heat and sun. Know the signs of possible distress (see below) and if necessary, consult with the physician who cares for your loved one.
2. Senior water aerobics is a great way to get some exercise and stay cool. Always consult your doctor before starting a new exercise; if water exercise is already part of someone’s routine, all the better!
3. Being out in nature can be a wonderful mood elevator!
4. Dressing appropriately is important. Layers, layers, layers! You can monitor your loved one’s temperature and remove a layer if needed. If communication is an issue, be aware of non-verbal signs of discomfort. Some examples are perspiration, shortness of breath and a flushed face.
5. We all need to drink a lot of water, but it is particularly important for our elders. A tip to get your senior to drink more water is to add some flavor to the pitcher. Fresh seasonal fruits or mint might keep them reaching for another glass.
6. Recognize signs of distress. Summer heat can bring on serious conditions such as heat exhaustion, shortness of breath, heat stroke. It is important to know what to look for!
- Dry skin - no sweat
- Nausea or vomiting
- Trouble breathing
If you notice any of these symptoms it can be serious. Seek medical help immediately.
If you have any questions or would like to be in touch with a Senior Care Authority Advisor in your area call (888) 854-3910 for a no-cost phone consultation. We have many resources to share with you. You can also find a local advisor on our website at www.seniorcareauthority.com.
Written by guest blogger, Jennifer Smit