The longer days of summer mean more time for swimming, family cookouts, gardening, and all of those other delightful seasonal pursuits. However, it also means an enhanced risk for a number of health concerns for the elderly, who happen to be more vulnerable to heat-related issues such as:
- Heat syncope (faintness/dizziness)
- Heat cramps
- Heat edema (swelling)
- Heat exhaustion
- And the most serious: heat stroke, an emergency necessitating immediate medical care, exhibiting with signs and symptoms which include:
- Fainting, sometimes to the point of unconsciousness
- Behavioral changes such as moodiness, irritation, confusion, loss of balance, and others
- Increased body temperature
- Flushed, dry skin
- Pulse rate that may be either weak and slow or rapid and strong
- A lack of sweat
Compounding the danger even more are factors such as:
- Acute conditions such as lung, heart, or kidney disease
- High blood pressure
- Some medications, such as diuretics and sedatives
- A BMI that is above or below average
- Consumption of alcohol
- Poor blood circulation
- And others
How might you most effectively help the older adults you love take pleasure from everything summertime has to offer, while preventing a medical crisis? We’ve gathered some important summer safety tips for seniors.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Ensure plenty of non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages are always within easy reach of your senior loved ones.
- Maintain a cool home environment. In the event that the home is not air conditioned, make certain window shades are kept shut throughout the day, fans are utilized, and windows are opened every night. If it is still uncomfortably hot, investigate alternate arrangements during the day, such as attending an adult day program or spending time at the shopping mall or library.
- Design activities appropriately. Limit exercise along with other physically-exerting activities to the coolest times of the day: in the early morning or evening. It’s also a great idea to abstain from running errands during peak times when stores tend to be 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 naturally, a lot of sunscreen.
- Assign a buddy. During family get-togethers, identify someone to be readily available to maintain a close watch on older loved ones to make sure they remain comfortable.
For more summer safety tips for seniors, connect with Absolute Companion Care, providers of home health care in Towson and the surrounding areas. We’re also the ideal companion for seniors all through 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 enjoyable conversations and pastimes, transportation to fun excursions, and so much more.