According to agingcare.com almost 400 people die each year from overexposure to heat – most of which are seniors.
That’s why it’s important that your loved one takes extra precautions to avoid the risk of developing heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Here are a few tips Freedom Home Care found that could be helpful.
Know Your Body
Knowing the different changes that occur in the body as we age is the first step to preventing heat-related illness or death. When the temperature in the body changes, many times its hard for some older loved ones to tell whether they’re too hot or too cold. And because they don’t sweat as much, seniors’ ability to regulate their temperature dimishes. Older adults also store fat differently over time which makes heat regulation in the body difficult, as well.
Poor circulation, existing health conditions and even medications can compound the problem significantly.
Because seniors become less aware of how their thirst, they may not be drinking as much water as they need to. This can put them at risk for dehydration. Many liquids like alcohol, coffee and sugary drinks have the same negative effects.
Be sure your loved one drinks plenty of water often even though they might not feel thirsty. Cool treats like sugar-free popsicles are also option for seniors who don’t like water.
Dress for the Weather
The inability to regulate heat properly oftentimes leaves many seniors overdressing on hot days. Help your senior avoid heat exhaustion by choosing lightweight, loose fitting clothing. Whatever they wear should also be light colored as well. Hats with a wide brim are useful for protection against the sun along with sunscreen.
Keep Things Cool Indoors
On hot days keep the house cool by setting the AC at a temperature that is comfortable for your loved one. Whenever possible, have her home care agency professional close the shades or blinds to keep the sun out, while your senior stays in the coolest parts of the home during the day.
If the AC is not working, make sure they’re spending time in other cool, dry places like a mall, library or senior center.
Limit Activity Outdoors
If your senior must be outdoors when it’s hot, make sure they stay in shaded areas, take frequent breaks and hydrated often.
Be Familiar with Signs of Heat Stroke & Exhaustion
If you’re loved one has been out in hot weather for long periods of time, avoid heat-related illness by recognizing the signs and symptoms such as excessive sweating, dizziness, headache, weakness, and muscle cramps. As it progresses, they may also experience nausea, vomiting and fainting.
If you suspect you loved one is suffering from dehydration or heat exhaustion, contact a physician immediately.
Freedom Home Care is here for you and your loved ones whenever you need. We provided services for as long as you need us with post surgery care, new born care, in-home care services, and much more home care around the Chicagoland area. Give us a call today at (847) 465-2620 and talk to a representative about a free-in-home consult!