Protect Seniors from the Summer Heat
Everyone is looking forward towards the summer as it promises hours of outdoor fun, relaxation, long walks, barbecues and other fun activities. But higher temperatures and constant exposure to the sun can be dangerous, especially for kids and seniors. That is why you need to take some precautions to protect those at risk from serious health issues and ensure summer is nothing but fun.
When it comes to kids, parents are generally overprotective by nature and make sure their kids stay safe. But when it comes to seniors, we often tend to neglect them, believing they are able to take care of themselves. But seniors are not used to the extreme heat and harmful UV rays that came as a result of global warming.
This is why paying attention to our senior loved ones is mandatory during the summer. If you care for your parents or if you are a professional caregiver looking after seniors, you need to remember these useful summer safety tips.
Consult a physician
With the start of the summer, seniors should see their doctor make sure the heat won’t affect any medication they are taking. This is especially important< if seniors are living in a home with no air conditioning. Some medications are not as effective if stored at room temperature, so you need to be extra careful how and where you store them to protect their contents.
Drink lots of water
Seniors conserve water less effectively and don’t feel thirst as often as younger people, making them prone to dehydration. In the summer, this is a recipe for disaster. That is why seniors should constantly be reminded to drink a lot of water and pack extra water if they take long drives, walks or picnics. Caregivers should make sure they pack a lot of water and remind seniors to consume plenty of non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated fluids.
Dress for the season
When the summer comes, everyone needs to appropriately dress for the heat. Natural fabrics like cotton are great for the summer because they are lighter and cooler than synthetic clothes. You should also avoid wearing black as it absorbs the heat, and stick to light, loose and comfortable clothes.
No matter the age, everyone needs to have sunscreen, a hat and shades packed at all times for the summer. Elders, in particular, need to have hats and glasses on at all times during the summer. Caregivers and loved ones should remind seniors to put sunscreen on and never leave their home without proper protection from the sun and heat. Seniors dealing with vision loss need to be particularly careful about the UV rays and wear sunglasses whenever they go outside.
High temperatures could lead to potentially life-threatening situations, which is why seniors need to let their families or caregivers know when they plan on spending a lot of time outside during the summer, even if it is in their own backyard. Experienced caregivers providing senior care should get to know the people who live in the neighborhood, so if there is ever an emergency they know who to contact.
Article by Lara Janssen