The longer days of summer mean more time for swimming, family cookouts, gardening, and all of those other wonderful seasonal outdoor activities. However, it also means an elevated risk for a variety of health concerns for senior loved ones, who are more prone to heat-related complications including:
- Heat syncope (faintness/dizziness)
- Heat cramps
- Heat edema (swelling)
- Heat exhaustion
- And the most severe: heat stroke, an emergency necessitating immediate medical aid, presenting with signs and symptoms that include:
- Fainting, sometimes to the point of unconsciousness
- Behavioral changes such as moodiness, irritability, confusion, loss of balance, as well as others
- Increased body temperature
- Flushed, dry skin
- Pulse rate that is either weak and slow or rapid and strong
- A lack of sweat
Compounding the danger even more are factors such as:
- Chronic conditions, for example, lung, heart, or kidney disease
- High blood pressure
- Certain medications, such as diuretics and sedatives
- A BMI that is above or below average
- Consumption of alcohol
- Poor blood circulation
- And more
How can you best help the seniors you love savor everything summer can offer, while preventing a medical crisis? We’ve compiled some important summertime safety tips.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Make certain plenty of non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages are always within reach of your older relatives.
- Maintain a cool home environment. In the event that the residence is not air conditioned, make certain blinds are kept shut in the day, fans are utilized, and windows are opened at night. If it’s still uncomfortably warm, consider alternate arrangements during the day, such as attending an adult day program or passing time at the mall or library.
- Structure activities appropriately. Restrict exercise along with other physically-exerting tasks to the coolest points during the day: during the early morning hours or evening. It is also a wise idea to avoid running errands during peak times when shops are more crowded.
- Dress wisely. Loose-fitting clothing made out of natural fibers, such as cotton, are most comfortable. When outdoors, add a large hat for shade, and of course, sunscreen.
- Designate a buddy. During family get-togethers, select someone to be readily available to keep a close watch on older loved ones to make certain they remain comfortable.
For more summertime safety tips for older adults, contact At-Home Care Company, providers of top-rated independent senior living in Waukee and surrounding areas. We are also an ideal companion for senior loved ones throughout the summer months and beyond, providing as much or as little care and support in the home as necessary to ensure optimal health and wellbeing, including meal preparation and monitoring food and fluid intake, engagement in pleasurable conversations and pastimes, transportation to fun excursions, and so much more.