During a heat wave, seniors may be especially vulnerable to the effects of rising temperatures. This is often due to health conditions that limit their ability to cool off effectively. However, implementing certain strategies can prevent serious problems such as heatstroke and dehydration. Lancaster elder care experts have a few suggestions.
Dehydration is one of the most common problems that arise for seniors during a heat wave. This is because many take medications that can have a diuretic effect. Encourage your loved one to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, but make sure he or she avoids dehydrating beverages that contain alcohol or caffeine.
Enjoy Frozen Treats
Popsicles are a favorite treat among both children and older adults during the summer, and they can help hydrate and cool your loved one at the same time. However, some seniors may have dietary restrictions that limit sugar intake. If this applies to your loved one, make sugar-free popsicles using fresh fruit juice or offer frozen chunks of fruit with a high water content such as watermelon.
When a heat wave hits, your loved one may need to find ways to bring his or her favorite activities indoors. For example, a senior who enjoys gardening can work on a windowsill container garden until the heat wave is over, and taking an indoor water aerobics class or walking on the track inside a local recreation center are suitable alternatives to outside forms of exercise.
Visit Air-Conditioned Spaces
Seniors who are on a budget sometimes try to limit the amount of time they run their air conditioning, or their home may not be equipped with a cooling system. However, most communities have malls, theaters, libraries, and other public spaces where seniors can cool off for a few hours.
Slower circulation can cause seniors to feel chilled in air-conditioned environments, yet they can quickly overheat in spaces without cool air. Dressing in layers can help your loved one stay comfortable indoors. Lightweight long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, and vests can all allow your loved one to make clothing adjustments throughout the day and regulate body temperature.
Your loved one deserves to enjoy the summer without threatening his or her health. If your loved one needs help staying cool, safe, and comfortable, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and stroke care in Lancaster, and our experienced caregivers can help with a wide variety of daily tasks, including exercise, meal prep, and transportation. For more information on our high-quality senior care services, please call a Care Manager at (717) 540-4663 today.