Whenever it’s summertime, the heatwave can become quite unbearable, especially to the elderly. This puts more pressure on family caregivers as they struggle to make their older relatives feel more comfortable despite all the intense heat. The worst part is, some conditions become aggravated due to the heat, which could lead to complications, further worsening their condition.
As people get older, their natural defenses begin to break down, including their ability to withstand heat. This could lead to seniors developing heat-related illnesses that can cause quite a lot of pain and discomfort to them. This is why caregivers and home health professionals should know how to keep seniors safe and cool in extreme heat. Here are a few things you can do to keep your elderly loved ones safe during a heatwave:
Check up on your loved one often to monitor if they are having any symptoms of heat-related illness. It’s that all your family members, friends, and even neighbors coordinate and work together to create a schedule of in-person visits. If your loved one is living alone, this is a crucial step to monitor how they are doing, especially when the temperature gets high. If you are unable to visit your loved one, you can always call for home health services to perform a routine visit to give you peace of mind.
Staying well-hydrated is important to anyone, especially during summer. Make your senior loved one drink plenty of water and limit their intake of caffeine and alcohol. If you happen to live with someone who needs to limit liquids due to a medical condition, it’s best to ask their doctor how to handle hydration when temperatures are high. Otherwise, dehydration becomes a very serious risk that must be avoided at all costs.
Typically around noontime and 4:00 PM is perhaps the hottest time of the day. Your loved one is better off staying indoors during this time to avoid receiving the brunt of the heat and the sun’s rays. This helps in lowering the risk of heat-related illnesses and leads them away from any discomfort brought on by overexposure to the sun. Instead, you should plan outdoor activities, appointments, and errands involving your loved ones around the time of day that’s not too hot.
Use Sun Protection
Older adults may be more sensitive to sun exposure, so it’s best to put some form of protection to shield them from the sun’s harmful rays. If a senior loved one must be out in the sun, they should wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to minimize their exposure. You also need to be on the lookout for signs of heat-related illness despite all the protection your loved one is wearing.
Keep the Home Cool
Ensuring that the air conditioning and fans are working is also part of your responsibility as a caregiver. Your senior loved ones should always be afforded with everything that could make them feel more comfortable and at ease. Keep blinds, shades, and curtains closed during the hottest part of the day, limiting the use of appliances, such as ovens, that may throw off excess heat.
Seniors need to be more careful of the dangers of overexposure to heat as the risks of having a heatstroke or developing heat-related illnesses are much greater with them. The tips listed here should help keep them safe and comfortable at all times.
Bridge Home Home Health and Hospice is your partner when it comes to serving seniors and giving them the care they deserve. When it comes to home health and hospice care, our professional care providers are here to help. Contact us to learn more about what we do.