Temperatures are heating up as summer arrives. While many families are out enjoying the sunshine, it is important to pay attention to older family members and their health. Senior loved ones can certainly participate in these activities but keeping cool should be a priority. Seniors are more sensitive to the heat and their bodies have a harder time regulating temperature. This makes them more susceptible to dehydration, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke.
Be smart this summer and take steps to protect yourself and your senior from the heat. Plan your schedule accordingly so you’re not spending long hours outside during the hottest part of the day and so you have somewhere cool to relax and rehydrate. Here are some tips to help your senior stay safe and enjoy summer:
When visiting your loved one, make sure that their air conditioning works – and is running – so their home stays at a comfortable temperature. Scheduling a spring tune-up can ensure everything is working properly. On days when it’s still warm but not dangerously so, ceiling fans or small portable fans can be beneficial.
Whether sitting at home or on the go, have plenty of water available. Dehydration can set in before you know it. Sip on water or other light beverages throughout the day. Spruce things up by adding fresh fruit or cucumber slices to water for a boost of flavor.
Avoid Peak Hours
The sun is most intense between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so limit exposure or ensure there are plenty of shaded or cool areas to relax. Try to get out first thing in the morning or later in the day when the sun is lower in the sky and it is not as hot outside. If you and your senior are out during the day, take plenty of breaks and keep drinking water.
Hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen are a must for going outside during the summer. Your aging parent may also want to wear light, breathable fabrics to stay cool while covering up exposed skin. Reapply sunscreen every two hours or so.
Check In Regularly
If your senior lives alone, call or stop by on a regular basis to check in, especially as temperatures rise. If you don’t live nearby, ask a neighbor or close friend to visit and check on your loved one’s well-being. Make sure their home is cool, they have plenty of food and water, and they’re behaving normally.
How Home Care Assistance Can Help
Another great option to consider is bringing in an in-home caregiver from Home Care Assistance of Oklahoma. This will give you peace of mind that someone is there to assist your senior with various activities throughout the week and to check in on them and alert you of any potential problems. A caregiver can accompany your senior on errands or walks outside, remind them to keep drinking water, monitor the temperature of their home, and make sure they’re dressed appropriately. Plus, they will have someone to keep them company and provide help with daily tasks.
The summer heat can be difficult for seniors to cope with. An in-home caregiver from Home Care Assistance can provide companionship and a set of helping hands while they are at home or running errands. You can have more peace of mind knowing that they are receiving the support they need to age in place safely and comfortably.