When the sun is out, so are many seniors. There’s plenty of fun to be had in the summer months but
caregivers and their seniors also face unique risks.
According to the CDC, around 31% of weather-related deaths in the US are due to heat-related issues. Seniors, especially those with cardiovascular issues, are at increased risk of health problems resulting from heat exposure. Caregivers and seniors can stay cool using these tips.
Pay attention to heat wave reports
When you check the weather, pay attention to reports of heat waves. A combination of humidity and temperature, heat waves can affect the body temperature dangerously. There are three progressive levels of heat wave indicators to look for:
- Excessive heat watch
- Excessive heat warning
- Heat advisory
One of the best ways to prevent heat-related health problems is simply to stay hydrated. Avoid caffeine, which
actually dehydrates the body. Drink 8 glasses of water, fruit juices, and even healthy sports drinks to stay cool and filled up with needed fluid.
Protect your skin
You’re never too old to suffer from sunburn. Protect your skin against sunburn and even skin cancer simply by
applying sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more. Wear hats and light clothing too.
Find a cool place to spend time
Air conditioning enables people to enjoy summer comfortably and safely. Some states offer low-income citizens, including many seniors, financial assistance paying energy bills. Another option for staying cool indoors is visiting places with air conditioning, like senior centers, movie theaters, or local libraries. (Benefits.gov)
Avoid unnecessary heat sources
Don’t add heat to everyday living when it’s already hot outside. Take lukewarm or cool showers or baths. Eat cold
meals or room temperature foods. Seek transportation help instead of waiting outside for public transit.
Dress for summer weather
Light, airy clothing is best in the heat. Tight, dark, thick clothing can be problematic. To ensure comfort in air
conditioning and outdoors, dress in easy to remove layers.
Recognize signs of heat-related emergencies
Being able to spot the signs of a heat-related emergency can save a life. Caregivers and seniors should pay attention to symptoms like:
- Headache or dizziness
- Lack of sweat
- Weakness or cramping
- Stomach problems or nausea
- Quickened heartbeat
- Difficult breathing or shallow breathing
Signs like these can be indicators of dehydration, heat exhaustion, or even heat stroke. If you notice these symptoms, take steps to cool off quickly and seek medical attention.
Know how to get cool quickly
If someone is overheated or begins to show signs of heat-related health problems, get them cool quickly.
Getting cool can prevent overheating from becoming a medical problem or reduce the severity of a heat-related emergency.
How to get cool quick:
- Get out of the heat and into a cool place
- Remove excess clothing, including shoes and socks
- Lie down and elevate the legs
- Apply cool, wet towels and drink water or a sports beverage
Harmony is founded with a single focus in mind: providing compassionate home care and home healthcare to the residents of Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Our trustworthy caregivers are ready to lend a helping hand to your mother, father, children, and loved ones in Somerset County, Fayette County, Westmoreland County, and many more locations throughout the region. Contact us and one of our patient advocates will be happy to discuss how Harmony's programs can help your family today.