Warmer weather feels wonderful after a cold winter and early spring, but once the heat really starts to climb, safety becomes a much bigger concern. Here’s what you need to know as a caregiver about making sure your elderly family member stays safe in the heat.
Find out How Her Health Is Affected by the Heat
One of the first things you should do when the weather starts seriously heating up is to talk to your senior’s doctor about how the heat affects her health. Some of her health conditions or medications could make heat a bigger concern for your senior. It’s possible that there are some special precautions you need to take in order to keep your elderly family member safer when it’s hot out.
Hydration, Hydration, Hydration
Water can solve a lot of health problems, amazingly enough. During hot weather, drinking enough water can help your elderly family member to feel cooler and it ensures that her cells and her organs have enough hydration to function. When the temperature outside goes up, your senior’s body needs more water to keep on doing all the things it normally does. Sipping water throughout the day helps immensely.
What She Wears Makes a Difference
If your elderly family member is choosing dark, tight-fitting clothing, that can make her uncomfortable and might trap heat against her body. Fabrics that are lightweight help to wick sweat and moisture away from your senior’s skin, which helps her to stay cooler and comfortable. Longer sleeves also protect her from too much sun.
AC and Fans Really Do Help
Sometimes people are reluctant to use air conditioning in the summer or to use fans and AC together. But the reality is that moving air around truly does help. If your senior has both air conditioning and fans, the fans help to keep the cool air moving and can ensure that the air conditioner isn’t working harder than it has to in order to keep the room cool. It’s also a good idea to keep window coverings closed during the hottest parts of the day.
Learn to Recognize Heat-related Illnesses
Heat-related illness are a huge concern for seniors, particularly if your elderly family member has other health issues that make her more vulnerable to hot weather. Some of the symptoms you should watch out for include dizziness, headache, or body pains. Your elderly family member may even start out sweating, then stop sweating as she gets overheated.
Staying vigilant during the summer heat is really important for you as your senior’s caregiver. You can make sure that she has what she needs to stay safe while the temperatures are rising.