As the temperatures rise, seniors are at greater risk for heat stroke, dehydration, and other health concerns. Caregivers should strive to keep their senior loved ones cool, hydrated, and healthy during the hot summer months. Here are a few ways to protect seniors from the harsh summer weather.
Increase Water Intake
Seniors are more susceptible to dehydration than younger individuals since the ability to recognize thirst can diminish with age. Older adults should aim to drink eight glasses of water a day, but in the summertime they can supplement water with sports drinks like Gatorade. Drinking too much water can lead to an imbalance in electrolyte levels, causing bladder irritation. Seniors prone to perspiration should keep a stash of electrolyte-replenishing beverages on hand. For seniors who simply forget to drink enough water, caregivers should make sure they always have a water bottle on hand.
Increasing water intake is just one of the many ways seniors can boost their health and wellbeing. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of North Houston home care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
Decrease Caffeine Intake
During the summer, it’s vital to optimize the body’s ability to retain water. Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it depletes the body’s store of liquid. The stimulant can also irritate the bladder, especially for seniors who have urinary concerns. Aging adults who drink several cups of coffee a day should try to cut back during the summer months.
Plan Outdoor Time Carefully
While hot weather and harsh sun can be dangerous for seniors, it doesn’t mean they should stay indoors all summer long. When older adults venture outside on hot days, they should be careful. Seniors should try to stay inside when the sun is in full force, which is usually from 10am to 3pm. They can enjoy the summer weather in the early morning or late evening.
Guard Against the Sun
When seniors do go outside, applying sunscreen is essential. Caregivers should purchase a product with SPF 30 or higher and apply it to their loved one’s face, neck, tips of the ears, scalp, and other exposed areas of the skin. Seniors should also wear loose fitting clothes in light colors, made of breathable fabrics like cotton or linen, and finish the sun-safe ensemble with a broad-brimmed hat and a pair of sunglasses with SPF protection.
If your aging loved one needs help attending outdoor events, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Kingwood elderly care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
Provide Plenty of Air Conditioning
On particularly hot days, seniors are safer in air-conditioned environments. If the home isn’t equipped with central AC, older adults should try to spend the hottest part of the day in an air-conditioned building like a movie theater or local senior center. Staying in an AC-free house in 90-degree temperatures could lead to heat stroke. Caregivers can help their loved ones stay cool by purchasing and installing an AC window unit or by driving them to air-conditioned venues on the hottest days of the summer.
Ensuring senior safety during the hot summer months can be a challenging task. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. The Woodlands, TX, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. To learn about our premier in-home care plans, give us a call at 832-412-1345 today.