High humidity and searing summer heat are things that seniors have grown up with, and being safety-conscious may not have been the first thing on their minds. Many of them have fond memories of hot summer days jumping through lawn sprinklers and drinking water from their family’s garden hose to stay cool.
But, for adults who are now over 65, heat and humidity can be health hazards and, in extreme cases, even cause death. Because of the body’s natural aging process and decreased ability to cool itself down, seniors’ bodies have more challenges handling the heat. In addition, some medications they take can also hinder the body’s cooling process.
Five Summer Safety Tips for Seniors
To help your aging loved one and their friends enjoy the outdoors and stay cool this summer, here are five summer safety tips for seniors:
1. Keep the house cool.
Set the air conditioning to a comfortable temperature for your loved. If you don’t have AC, set up fans in the rooms where your senior spends the most time, like the living room, kitchen, and bedroom. Limit oven use and keep curtains closed during the middle of the day.
2. Keep them hydrated.
Limit their consumption of caffeine and alcohol while they’re in the sun and heat because of their dehydrating effects. Instead, keep their glass full with cold water, sports drinks, or fruit juices. Then, have them sip throughout the day. If you wait until they’re thirsty, they’re probably already dehydrated.
3. Limit their outdoor activities.
For seniors that enjoy their daily walk, the best time of day during the summer months is either early in the morning or at dusk. Make sure they wear light-colored clothing and a hat, use sunscreen, and carry a bottle of water.
Other outdoor activities they enjoy, like gardening, shouldn’t be done during the afternoon hours when the temperature is peaking for the day.
4. Know the symptoms of heat stroke or heat exhaustion.
- Muscle cramps
- Vomiting or nausea
- Swelling of the legs and feet
Heatstroke is a medical emergency. If any of these symptoms appear, get them out of the sun immediately.
5. React quickly.
When a senior overheats, try cooling them down using a cool sponge or have them take a cool shower or bath.
If they’re suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke and you can’t cool them down, or they become unresponsive, call 9-1-1 and get them treated immediately. They may need to be rehydrated intravenously or receive additional medical care.
Call Us for Safety-Conscious Summer Care for Seniors
Our well-trained caregivers protect the health and safety of the seniors they’re caring for. They know what to do in case of a medical emergency, and they’ll make sure you know immediately what is happening with your loved one.
Contact us today to receive the highest-quality care in our area. We’ll be happy to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation visit to discuss your loved one’s needs and develop a personalized care plan to keep them happy and safe at home.