Tips for Keeping Elderly Loved Ones Cool This Summer

7/15/2016

elderly

Summer weather in Maryland means extreme heat and violent humidity. That heat is especially dangerous to seniors. Exposure to high heat even for a short period of time can cause elderly heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Our senior loved ones are at a higher exposure to heat related illness because they might not have the ability to notice changes in their body temperature like we do, those skills generally decrease with age. Furthermore, the elderly have many underlying medical issues that can lower their ability to adapt to rising heat. Remember that if you care for, or know someone who is elderly this summer, that you are taking all the following tips into consideration.

If you suspect a senior loved one is suffering from a heat related illness it is important to seek medical help immediately.

  1. Keep them hydratedThis is good advice for everyone, but unfortunately seniors tend to drink less water than they should. Being dehydrated can contribute to a number of health conditions and intensify the bodies reaction to high heat. Also keep in mind that alcoholic drinks and caffeinated drinks will tend to dehydrate you in the summer, stick with water and juice.
  2. Know when to stay insideThe midday hours tend to be the hottest and carry the highest risk for heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Encourage senior loved ones to do all errands and outdoor activities in the morning or in the later afternoon, when the temperatures are low. Our National Weather Service also has a color code system that warns us of dangerous humidity and temperature levels, and there are also air quality codes provided daily through your local weather service that warn us when air quality is a concern.
  3. Dress for the weatherSome of our senior friends like to dress a certain way, and that might not always be weather appropriate. Encourage loved ones to dress accordingly, long slacks and long sleeved shirts may aid in keeping body heat in instead of allowing them to cool down.
  4. Avoid ExerciseIf you’re inside a gym or a cooled home, by all means get your steps in, but otherwise avoid strenuous outdoor activities when the heat index and air quality are not safe.
  5. Know what heat illness looks likeConsult your loved ones doctors and talk to them about the signs of heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Also know what medications your elderly family and friends may be taking that could potentially cause them to suffer similar effects. There are also medications that require you stay out of direct sunlight. Some basic symptoms of heat related illness include: nausea, dizziness, increased heart rate, headache, fainting, and trouble breathing.

Working towards safe care during the hotter months can prevent these types of injuries, so remember these simple tips. Our highly trained caregivers with 2nd Family are caring and trained to provide the highest level of in home care to your senior loved ones. They keep your family and friends safe and healthy, just like family.

If you have a loved one that may need home health services, contact us today to learn more.

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Howard County: Annapolis Junction (20701), Laurel (20723), Fulton (20759), Savage (20763), Highland (20777), Jessup (20794), Brookeville (20833), Clarksville (21029), Dayton (21036), Ellicott City (21042, 21043, 21041), Columbia (21044, 21045, 21046), Elkridge (21075), Hanover (21076), Marriottsville (21104), Woodstock (21163), Cooksville (21723), Glenelg (21737), Glenwood (21738), Mount Airy (21771), Sykesville (21784), West Friendship (21794), Woodbine (21797), Simpsonville (21150), Lisbon (21765

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Frederick County: Frederick (21701, 21702, 21703), Woodsboro (21798), New Market (21774), Walkersville (21793) Monrovia (21770), Clarksburg (20871), Ijamsville (21754)

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