The longer days of summer mean additional time for swimming, family cookouts, gardening, and all of those other wonderful seasonal pursuits. Yet it also means an increased risk for a variety of health concerns for seniors, who are more susceptible to heat-related issues such as:
- Heat syncope (faintness/dizziness)
- Heat cramps
- Heat edema (swelling)
- Heat exhaustion
- And the most serious: heat stroke, an emergency calling for prompt health care, presenting with symptoms which include:
- Fainting, sometimes to the point of unconsciousness
- Behavioral changes including moodiness, irritability, confusion, loss of balance, and others
- Elevated body temperature
- Flushed, dry skin
- Pulse rate that may be either weak and slow or rapid and strong
- A lack of sweat
Adding to the danger even further are factors such as:
- Acute conditions such as lung, heart, or kidney disease
- High blood pressure levels
- Select medications, for example, diuretics and sedatives
- A BMI that is over or under normal
- Use of alcohol
- Poor blood circulation
- And others
How can you best assist the older adults you love to savor everything summertime can offer, while preventing a medical crisis? We’ve organized some important suggestions on summer safety for older adults.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Make sure plenty of non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages are always within reach of your older loved ones.
- Maintain a cool home environment. In the event that the home is not air conditioned, make certain curtains are kept shut during the day, fans are utilized, and windows are opened at nighttime. If it’s still uncomfortably hot, look into alternate arrangements during the day, such as attending an adult day program or passing time at the shopping mall or library.
- Plan activities appropriately. Restrict exercise along with other physically-exerting activities to the coolest times during the day: during the early morning or evening. It is also best to try to avoid running errands during peak times when shops are more crowded.
- Dress sensibly. Loose-fitting clothing made of natural fibers, such as cotton, are most comfortable. When outdoors, add a large hat for shade, and of course, an adequate amount of sunscreen.
- Designate a buddy. During family get-togethers, select someone to be on hand to help keep a close watch on older family members to make sure they remain comfortable.
For additional tips on summer safety for older adults, get in contact with Morning Glory Home Care, the experts in home and memory care in Granite City. We’re also the perfect companion for older adults through the summer season and beyond, providing as much or as little care and support in the home as needed to ensure optimal health and wellbeing, including meal preparation and monitoring food and fluid intake, engagement in pleasurable conversations and pastimes, transportation to fun outings, and so much more.
Email or give us a call at 618-667-8400 to find out more about our home and memory care in Granite City and the surrounding communities, and to schedule a no-cost in-home consultation today.