Now that we’re deep into the dog days of summer, the extended stretches of sunshine, higher humidity and higher temps can swiftly take a toll on the health of older adults. And because hundreds of Americans die each summer because of heat-related conditions, and many of those are seniors, it is imperative to take steps to make sure that your older loved ones are protected. Our Kansas City home care experts can help! Bear these summer safety guidelines in mind, especially when the outside temperature surges to 90 degrees or higher:
- Avoid sunlight for the duration of peak periods of heat. Limit out-of-doors time to early mornings or evenings, or if the older adult has to be outside in the late morning or afternoon, make sure he or she is protected by shade. Remaining in an air conditioned atmosphere is preferred. If air conditioning is not available in the person’s home, find public alternatives such as the library or shopping mall to pass time in intense heat.
- Dress accordingly. Loose-fitting, light colored clothing is best when it’s hot, and a wide-brimmed hat is ideal when out in the sunshine. And, be sure to remember the sunblock.
- Consume plenty of liquids, particularly water. There’s nothing better for staying hydrated than plain water, although clear juices are also beneficial. Just make certain the individual avoids caffeinated and alcoholic drinks, which have the reverse effect.
- Lower bath and shower water temperature. A moderate temperature for baths and showers (not too hot or too cold) is best in hot weather. Placing cool, moist washcloths on the neck, ankles, wrists and armpits can also assist with cooling.
It’s critical to keep a close eye on senior loved ones during the hot months of summer, as serious heat-related issues, like dehydration, heat syncope, heat exhaustion and heat stroke, could rapidly manifest, necessitating medical attention. If you notice the individual is suffering from weakness, headaches or muscle cramps, lightheadedness, disorientation, nausea, or fever, call 911 or his or her medical professional immediately for assistance.
Enhanced Home Care’s professional Kansas City home health care provides families with comfort in knowing their senior loved ones are secure, healthy and thriving at all times. We can help make certain that seniors are consuming plenty of fluids, that the home environment is comfortable and cool, that wholesome meals are prepared, and we can even take care of light housework and laundry duties, run errands, and provide transportation to medical appointments or fun outings. Whatever the need, Enhanced Home Care is ready to help!