Most people look forward to summer, as it is often linked to warm weather and relaxation, maybe swimming in pools, or going to the beach.
However, summer can be a really unpleasant and potentially dangerous part of the year for one group – seniors. Especially seniors who have certain illnesses and conditions are in danger when the high temperatures are constant.
We asked senior care experts at A Better Way in Home Care to share some tips for helping seniors get through the hottest period of the year safely. Here are the most important tips they gave us.
Make Sure to Keep Hydrated:
This piece of advice applies to just about everyone. Staying hydrated in the heat is really important, as it reduces the risk of sunstroke and other heat-related issues.
Even though it is important for everyone, hydration is particularly important for seniors. Our bodies tend to be less effective at keeping water as we age. It is up to caregivers to make sure that seniors are drinking enough water and that they are replacing the minerals which they use through sweating.
Stay in Touch with Seniors:
If you don’t live with the seniors in your life, such as your parents, you should try to keep in touch with them as much as possible. Even though you might be busy, calling them at least once a day to check up on them is not only a nice thing to do but also gives you some peace of mind that they are well and that they are taking care of themselves.
High temperatures can be really dangerous, particularly in the hottest part of the day. So, if you know that they will be going out during the day, make sure to call them and check upon them. Suggest drinking plenty of water because hydration is important, as mentioned before.
Pick the Right Clothes:
Dressing appropriately for the summer heat is one of the most important things everyone should do, particularly when it is very hot outside and you know that you will be spending some time outdoors.
Most experts agree that natural fibers such as cotton or linen are the best option, as they feel a lot cooler and enable your skin to breathe, as opposed to synthetic materials.
Additionally, it is recommended that you avoid darker colors, as they absorb less heat from the sun.
Eye Protection, Hats, and Sunscreen:
On top of picking the right clothes, you should also consider accessorizing properly. One of the first things to consider is a hat. Protecting seniors from the sun can be vital, as they are much more susceptible to heat strokes and other heat-induced problems.
A wide brim hat would be the best option, but any kind of head protection is better than nothing, especially for people with light hair (including grey hair), or those with thinning hair.
Sunglasses may seem like a great fashion statement to you, but they actually have a much more important role, which is protecting your eyes from the glare of the sun. It is recommended to never leave home without a pair of sunglasses.
Finally, the sunscreen is a pretty standard fare if you want to spend time in the sun. That doesn’t just mean the beach, though. Every time you go out, your skin is exposed to the sun and therefore should be protected. For seniors, whose skin doesn’t have the regenerative ability it used to have when they were younger, this part of the weather preparedness is crucial.
Senior caregivers or family members who are taking care of them should be extra vigilant in this period, as the risks of heat-induced problems increases.