Though fall is nearly upon us, there are still plenty of days where we can expect very hot weather! Some of the ways we think to beat the heat are kids jumping in and out of swimming pools, families at the beach, or perhaps sitting indoors enjoying a book in an air-conditioned room. However, it’s also important that we remember the importance of making sure our senior loved ones beat the heat as well.
From ultraviolet (UV) rays to skin dehydration, there are many potential dangers that too much sun and heat can cause. Excessive heat exposure can cause dehydration, which in turn can cause conditions like heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
As a caregiver, it’s important to know how to keep your loved one from getting over heated. Here are four tips for you:
Keep the windows open. As people age, their brain sometimes cannot recognize that the body is overheating. As a result, some seniors keep windows closed or may wear sweaters on sweltering days because they feel cold. Be sure to open the windows throughout the house to circulate fresh air and maintain a safe temperature. To keep the heat out of the house, even with the windows open, draw the blinds or lower the shades to keep the radiant heat out of the house.
Minimize exposure to the sun. Whether in the house, at the park or at the beach, everyone, and seniors especially, need to limit direct exposure to the sun. Not only do they run a higher risk of sunburn or overheating, but, also exhaustion, which is often overlooked. To help minimize this risk, wearing light colored clothing can help. Also, plan any outdoor activities in the cooler parts of the day, avoiding the times between 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., when the sun is the strongest.
Drink plenty of fluids. Given the threat of overheating and becoming physically strained, it is important that your loved one is drinking plenty of water and getting the right nutrients daily.
Stay active, but stay cool. Encouraging activities that are appropriate for the weather is not only enjoyable, but, keeps their mind active. Socialization is a key component to your loved ones’ health. Pool exercises are a perfect way for seniors to stay fit, flexible and cool. Many community centers provide in-door activities that would be perfect options on those days when even being in to pool is out of the question.
By implementing these four tips to beat the heat this summer, your loved one can still enjoy the beautiful summer days either out of doors, or inside when necessary.