When it comes to preparing a home for extreme weather, we’re used to the concept of “winterizing”. While it’s true a home can become unsafe if it’s not fully prepared for the winter, it can perhaps be even more dangerous to inadequately “summerize” a home to protect its residents from extreme heat. This is particularly important if you’re providing home care for an elderly relative because they’re especially vulnerable when it comes to deadly heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
Here are some things you should know to ensure that your elderly relative is as safe as possible as we head into the summer months.
Home Care Tips on “Summerizing”
Most instances of heatstroke and heat exhaustion occur when a person is engaging in some type of strenuous outdoor activity. A home’s indoors, however, can also be dangerous. Here are a few things you can do to protect your loved one.
- Make sure the air conditioner is working the way it should. If their home lacks air conditioning, purchase and install a window unit, so they’ll always have a cool place to go.
- If the cost of air conditioning in their home is too high, check with your local Area Agency on Aging to see if there’s any assistance available from local, state, and federal governments.
- If air conditioning isn’t an option, make sure their windows are open in the evening and early morning hours to allow as much cool air into the home as possible. Also, close the curtains to keep out the sun during the day.
- Inspect your loved one’s wardrobe. They should have plenty of lightweight and loose-fitting clothing made of cool materials such as cotton and linen.
If you have an elderly parent who’s living alone, it’s very important that you keep in close contact at all times. You should visit them whenever it’s particularly warm so that you know that they’re safe and comfortable, and if you ever notice that it’s uncomfortably hot in the home, make arrangements for them to spend the days somewhere that’s cool, like a local senior center or library.
Get Help With a Professional Caregiver
Whether your family requires assistance with short-term or long-term home care, a home caregiver can provide these invaluable services during the summer months:
- Operate the air conditioning unit, and turn area fans on and off.
- Drive your elderly loved one to cool destinations.
- Plan and prepare all meals.
- Make sure your loved one is always hydrated.
- Watch over them while they’re doing their exercises or engaging in strenuous activities.
- Assist with bathing and dressing so that they’re as cool and comfortable as possible.
- Monitor their health and report back to family members.
If you have any questions about how Home Care Assistance of Oklahoma, can help provide your loved one with home care this summer, contact us today.