Summer Safety Tips for Seniors to Beat the Heat
Nova Home Care is a senior home care company based out of New Jersey. If you have lived in New Jersey for an extended period of time you know the summer heat can sometimes be a problem. For seniors, this is something they need to think about in order to enjoy the summer months without issue.
While the summer months bring us warmth and fun, excessive heat exposure can be dangerous, especially for older adults and seniors. Hundreds of people die each year in the United States from health problems brought on by excessive heat and humidity. Seniors and individuals with chronic medical conditions are at high risk of developing heat-related illnesses, because of aging-related physical changes in the body, chronic health conditions, and even the effects of taking some medications. Here are a few tips to keep in mind in order to help keep a senior loved one safe during the summer.
Stay Hydrated, Drink Lots of Water
This is good advice for anyone, as the heat causes us to become dehydrated even faster. Seniors are more prone to dehydration because they conserve less water and are generally less likely to feel like they are thirsty, even when they are. A good rule of thumb is to drink at least 8 glasses of water spread out over the day, and more if you are going to be spending time in the sun. It is also important to remember that alcoholic and caffeinated drinks are dehydrating despite being liquids, so avoid them when possible. If you are planning to drink these beverages, make sure to have more water to counteract the effects.
A senior’s wardrobe in the summer should consist of light-colored and loose-fitting clothing that allows your body to breathe. Cotton and other light fabrics are better than synthetic fabrics like nylon and polyester. Also wearing a hat that keeps the sun off both the face and neck is one of the best ways to avoid sunburn.
Apply a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher at least 15-30 minutes before sun exposure. Look for a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Reapply frequently if engaging in water activities that might wash off your first application.
Avoid the Sun During Peak Hours
Remaining indoors during peak heat times is equally as important as what he or she is wearing. No matter a person’s age, it’s best to stay out of the sun between noon and 4 p.m. to prevent or lower the chances of developing heat stroke. This makes keeping a senior indoors during this time even more crucial to their overall health.
Keep An Eye Out For Heat Stroke
Heatstroke is a life-threatening condition. There are a handful of clear heatstroke symptoms, which include high body temperature, dizziness, headache, confusion, and nausea. Seek immediate medical attention if these signs are present.
Make Sure Air Conditioning is Running Correctly
Air conditioning is important when it is hot and humid outside. If you do not have air-conditioning in your home, consider looking into having a unit installed. There are also plenty of cooling centers available during periods of extreme heat. Staying in your home without AC during a heatwave can be dangerous.
Consider Senior Home Care Services
If you are the primary caregiver for a senior in your life, it is important to have time to yourself. Senior home care services can help your loved one a few times a week and make sure they are staying healthy and comfortable during the summer. Nova Home Care has many experienced team members who are available to provide their expert home care services for the loved one in your life.