6 Summer Health and Safety Tips for the Elderly
The hot weather can be miserable for anyone, young and old. But in the case of the latter, elevated heat temperatures are particularly dangerous. Senior citizens’ bodies can’t adjust to drastic shifts in temperature as efficiently as they once did and that makes it even more important to monitor their condition when the thermometer rises.
Seniors are far more susceptible to suffering the symptoms of heat-related illness and taking the necessary precautions to avoid these maladies can make all the difference.
The heat is a very real threat to seniors, so here are six summer health and safety tips for the elderly from Orlando Senior Care that you should keep in mind as the weather starts to get warmer
1. Drink Plenty of Fluids
Not just water, either. Drinks rich in electrolytes can replenish the body when heat causes profuse sweating. We lose things like sodium and potassium when we sweat and that can lead to dehydration. Gatorade and PowerAde are good options for keeping the body well hydrated, after all, why do you think the athletes depend on these fluids during games? Be sure to steer clear of beverages with caffeine or alcohol as these will have an adverse effect.
2. Check the Medications
Many of the essential medicines that seniors rely upon for healthy aging can also contribute to dehydration. When those medications are taken in hot weather there are conditions that pose an elevated risk to the well-being of the elderly. Be sure to ask your doctor if any of the current prescriptions you or an elderly family member can increase the symptoms of heat-related illness.
3. Good Home Ventilation
Seniors shouldn’t remain in a home or room that can reach extreme temperatures. If there is no air conditioning or fan available, the elderly must have some kind of ventilation for air circulation in their surroundings. Be sure to inspect the home for ample air ventilation and, if there is none, then be sure to install some kind of window latch or other hardware that allows for windows to be opened while keeping the home secured from outside intruders.
4. Air Conditioned Comfort
If the home is not air-conditioned, seniors should visit places that offer climate controlled comfort for part of the day when the heat levels are at their highest. Even a fan is not going to do the trick properly when it’s only blowing warm air around the room. The body can regulate its own temperature more effectively when air conditioning is present to help.
5. Choose Proper Clothing
Anything that is loose-fitting and made of natural, lightweight fabrics must be worn instead of thicker, tighter fitting clothes. Always be sure to choose light colors as well, whites and pale shades that will reflect the sun and heat instead of absorb and contain it like darker colors will do instead.
6. Cool Water
A good way to beat the heat when it gets too oppressive and overwhelming is to get into a cool shower or bath. This is an ideal method for lowering the body temperature and a great substitution for air conditioning or a pool.