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7 Summer Tips for Senior Care: Keeping Seniors Safe in the Heat

7 Summer Tips for Senior Care: Keeping Seniors Safe in the Heat

Gavin Densmore • July 13, 2021

Preparation is key to maintaining a healthy balance of fun and sun. Keep your Senior loved ones safe this summer by learning how to prevent heatstroke, heat exhaustion, and other heat-related illnesses.

1. Encourage them to drink plenty of liquids to avoid dehydration

Dehydration in seniors is the root of many heat-related health problems. It removes important salts and minerals from the body. Dehydration can cause dizziness, fatigue, headaches, and can lead to hospitalization, bladder infections, kidney stones, and more.

Make sure you’re choosing hydrating beverages, including:

·       Water,

·       100% juice drinks like pure orange juice or apple juice (avoiding processed fruit drinks with added sugar,

·       Sports drinks high in electrolytes,

·       Coconut water.

Avoid drinks that lead to dehydration, such as alcohol or caffeinated drinks

2. Wear appropriate clothes

It’s important to choose your clothing carefully when it’s hot outside. This seemingly small decision can make a huge difference. Your clothes, and even accessories like umbrellas, can help you prevent sunburns and heat exhaustion by allowing the body to cool more easily. Some good clothing choices include:

·       Light-colored clothes

·       Lightweight fabrics or materials

·       Loose-fitting clothes

·       Hats or sunglasses

3. Stay indoors during midday hours

During a heatwave, try to engage in outdoor activities before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m., when the temperature tends to be cooler.

Here are some ways to stay cool inside:

·       Close your windows and draw the blinds during the day

·       Take a cool bath or shower

·       Sleep in your coolest room and use light linens

·       Turn off artificial lighting and electronics

·       Use ceiling or portable fans

4. Pay attention to the heat index and dew point

While you may check the outside temperature in their area, pay attention to weather reports that note the heat index and dew point as well. Many weather apps and websites refer to this as the the “feels like” temperature, factoring in humidity and temperature to approximate how the weather really feels.

According to the National Weather Service, a high dew point means there’s more moisture in the air. The higher the dew point, the muggier it feels and the more you need to worry about your elderly loved one’s comfort. Note the following dew point ranges:

·       55 or Below: comfortable or dry

·       Between 55 and 65: muggy or sticky

·       Greater than or equal to 65: oppressive humidity

5. Take it easy and avoid heat exposure

Talk with your senior loved one about how taking it easy in the summer can help their overall health and energy levels. When exposed to too much hot sun, their body has to work overtime to keep cool. Heart and metabolic rates increase, too. Something as simple as sitting outside can leave them feeling drained. When the humidity or dew point is high, it’s best to relax and avoid certain outdoor activities, such as exercise, gardening, lawn care, home repair, etc.

6. Eat healthy and hydrating foods

In addition to increasing fluid intake, there are many fruits and vegetables that can help keep your loved one nourished and hydrated, too. Have them readily available to enjoy as a snack, or serve them as a side dish with meals. Cut some of these options up and put them in water to infuse it with extra flavor.


Hydrating fruits:

·       Watermelon

·       Strawberries

·       Grapefruit

·       Pineapple

·       Starfruit

Hydrating vegetables:

·       Cucumbers

·       Romaine lettuce

·       Celery

·       Radishes

·       Zucchini

7. Check in regularly with elderly loved ones

A call or visit senior loved ones during hot weather is a great way to help them deal with the heat. Some conversation points to keep in mind:

·       Check whether they’re drinking water and staying hydrated.

·       Offer to pick up their favorite beverages or hydrating foods if they’re running low.

·       Ask how much time they spend outside. Do they use sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses?

·       Make sure they have air-conditioning or fans.

Lastly, if your loved one is struggling to pay utility or cooling bills, the National Council on Aging has a list of energy assistance programs. The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program specifically helps seniors with energy and cooling costs. Questions? Call us today at 844-358-4311 if you need home care for your senior loved ones.

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