As the weather begins to warm up, heat-related health conditions become a major hazard for seniors. Many older adults take medications and have ailments that impact their ability to keep themselves cool.
Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality in-home care. Flower Mound families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
Here are six tips you can use to keep your loved one safe and healthy during the next heatwave.
1. Start Drinking Liquids Early
Seniors who wait until they are thirsty to drink are most likely already dehydrated. They should start drinking liquids as soon as they wake up to prevent dehydration, and they should also drink a variety of different beverages so they don’t develop an electrolyte imbalance. Options such as iced green tea and fresh juice with no added sugar can keep them cool and hydrated.
2. Have the HVAC System Serviced
Modern air conditioners and HVAC systems are extremely durable, but they also need to be serviced at least once or twice a year. Having the system inspected by an experienced contractor before the weather gets too hot could prevent major complications. The contractor can replace old filters, lube moving parts, replace damaged belts, add coolant, and test the accuracy of the indoor thermostat.
3. Wear Layers
Alternating between sweltering outdoor temperatures and air-conditioned buildings often makes it difficult to find the right outfit. Layering clothes gives seniors the ability to quickly adjust to almost any temperature without having to head home to change. When seniors are out in the heat, they should wear loose clothing made from breathable fabrics such as cotton. They also need to dress in brighter colors that reflect sunlight.
4. Apply Sunblock
Sunscreen won’t lower a senior’s internal temperature, but it can prevent dangerous sunburns. When a senior’s skin burns, his or her temperature may increase as the body tries to heal the wounded tissue, which raises the risk of heat exhaustion and heat strokes. Sunblock should be reapplied at least once every two hours or after sweating. Most dermatologists suggest using sunblock that is at least 30 SPF.
5. Rinse Off
Taking a cold shower a few times a day is one of the easiest ways to stay at a comfortable temperature. Seniors should also take cold showers if they notice any of the signs of heat exhaustion, including nausea, vomiting, confusion, pale skin, a rapid pulse, and dizziness. Catching and treating heat stroke in its earliest stages could potentially prevent permanent brain damage.
Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Flower Mound, Texas, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place.
6. Stay Indoors During the Hottest Hours
Older adults can stay indoors and try to keep cool during the hottest hours of the day. Exercising and running errands when the sun is directly overhead can be tiring and dangerous. Waking up a few hours early to finish some errands or take a quick walk can lower the risk of dehydration and heat stroke.
Even in the extreme heat of summer, your aging loved one can enjoy life and stay active with the help of a compassionate caregiver. For families living in Flower Mound, TX, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home. Contact us at 972-468-6010 to learn more about our services and set up a free consultation.