How to Prepare Seniors for the Summer Heat

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Preparing Seniors for Summer Heat

By Ted Holmgren, 9:00 am on June 22, 2015

With temperatures expected to hit triple digits this month, seniors need to take extra precautions to stay safe and healthy during the hot summer season. The physical changes that come with aging make older adults more prone to dehydration and heat-related problems. The following information from Home Care Assistance, an established local home care agency in Scottsdale, can help your aging loved prepare for summer heat.

Stay Hydrated

Dehydration occurs whenever the body loses more fluids than it takes in. An older adult’s ability to stay hydrated is affected by several age-related changes, including loss of muscle tissue, reduced kidney function and decreased thirst perception. Encourage your loved one to:

  • Drink plenty of liquids when the weather’s hot, even when not thirsty
  • Eat foods high in water content, such as summer fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks

Keep Cool at Home

The body’s ability to maintain an internal temperature of around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit is compromised in scorching-hot weather, so you need to ensure your elderly family member stays cool to prevent heat-related illnesses. Even in an air conditioned home, your family member should avoid strenuous activity in the heat of the day. If your loved one doesn’t have air conditioning at home, suggest these helpful tips:

  • Take a cool bath or shower
  • Stay in the coolest parts of the home
  • Dress lightly and wear as little clothing as possible
  • Place cool, damp cloths on pulse points like wrists, ankles and the sides and back of the neck
  • Use ceiling fans set in the counterclockwise direction

Visit Air Conditioned Environments

If transportation is available, encourage your family member to take advantage of local cooling centers where seniors often gather. Other great places for older adults to pass the time when temperatures soar include libraries, museums, movie theaters and shopping malls. If your loved one does not have access to transportation, learn more about hourly home care in Scottsdale. In addition to transportation assistance, seniors can receive help with in-home activities that become strenuous in warmer temperatures.

Even in the extreme heat of summer, your elderly loved one can stay active and enjoy life with a few simple precautions. For more information about summer safety for an aging loved one or to learn about care nearest you, call 480.448.6215 and schedule a complimentary no-obligation consultation with Home Care Assistance of Scottsdale.