While the summer months are often associated with recreation, exploration, and relaxation, they may also cause stress for elderly individuals and their caregivers. Ageing physiology increases sensitivity to summer heat, humidity, and sun exposure.
Annually, many senior citizens are hospitalized due to health problems resulting from extreme heat and humidity, such as dehydration or nosebleeds.
It is crucial for family caregivers and their elderly loved ones to be proactively prepared to manage the heat and its negative effects, particularly when travelling to warmer locations. By taking a few simple steps and utilizing our Anvayaa app, one can safeguard the well-being of their elderly loved ones and help them relish the summer.
Here are a few summer tips for older adults to maintain good health in hot weather:
Due to age-related changes in sweating and thirst perception, older adults are more prone to dehydration than younger individuals. Caregivers must frequently monitor their elderly family members to ensure they regularly consume water. The elderly should carry water bottles while going out to simplify staying hydrated. Our elderly care services also guarantee that your seniors have an adequate water intake and nutritious food during summers, including watermelon, muskmelon, cucumber, pears, strawberries, vegetables, soups, and other items that do not jeopardize their health.
Dehydration can disrupt the balance of electrolytes, essential minerals required for muscle contraction, and nervous system signalling. Water is sufficient to maintain hydration if your loved one is comfortable, alert, and has a regular diet. However, if they are sweating excessively or experiencing diarrhoea, energy drinks such as ORS or Pedialyte are recommended.
Measures to Block the Sun
As we age, the subcutaneous fat layer beneath our skin thins, rendering seniors more vulnerable to the dehydrating consequences of sun exposure. To safeguard seniors from sun damage, consider the following advice:
- Obtain a sunscreen that provides at least 30 SPF and broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays.
- Kindly remind your elderly loved one to apply sunblock to every exposed area, including often-overlooked regions like their ears, upper lip, the backs of their hands, and the tops of their feet.
- Encourage them to wear loose, light-coloured clothing, which can help them stay relaxed and comfortable while providing additional protection against the sun.
- They should wear sunglasses and a brimmed hat to shield the delicate skin surrounding their eyes.
Know when to stay inside.
Exercising outdoors can be a delightful experience. It has been proven to enhance one’s mood. It is an excellent way for older adults who may have been lonely and isolated during the pandemic to safely socialize with friends and neighbours. However, on extremely hot days, limiting outdoor activities to early mornings or late evenings is advisable when the sun is not intense. The sun’s strength peaks between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so it is prudent to stay indoors in air conditioning during those hours.
If your elderly loved one is struggling to afford 24/7 home air conditioning, assist them in finding cooling centers in their community. Public gardens, community centres, shopping malls, and libraries often provide free air conditioning and a chance to socialize. Moreover, if the older person cannot go outside during hot summers, Anvayaa senior care services can be contacted to assist with getting groceries and medications. Our caregivers are always available to lend a helping hand.
Ensure that medications are stored appropriately
During the summer, paying extra attention to managing medications is essential, especially if you or your elderly loved one has planned a vacation. If your loved one takes multiple medications, it is best to carry a list in their wallet with details about the dosages and frequency.
To prevent medication from being damaged by high humidity and temperature, it is advisable to avoid storing it in places like bathroom cabinets, hallway linen closets, and bedroom closets. Furthermore, temperatures exceeding 86°F can cause several medications to lose their potency. In case your loved one’s home lacks air conditioning, it is recommended that they seek advice from their doctor or pharmacist on appropriate storage methods for their medications.
Watch out for heatstroke symptoms
Caregivers need to remain vigilant during summer and watch for signs of hyperthermia, which refers to heat-related illnesses. The symptoms that caregivers should look out for include excessive sweating, fatigue, dizziness, intense thirst, cramps in the abdomen, leg, or arms, cool and clammy skin, nausea, or vomiting.
Heatstroke is a severe form of hyperthermia that can be fatal if left untreated. Symptoms of heatstroke include body temperature greater than 103°F, no sweating, red, hot, and dry skin, throbbing headache, confusion, lethargy, and fainting. If these symptoms occur, seek medical assistance immediately and move to a cool area.
Visiting a place
Consider taking your elderly loved ones to a scenic location such as a viewpoint or a lake where they can enjoy the sun and nature. Being near the water can help them stay cool and refreshed, whether they want to take a boat ride or relax and enjoy the view. If you cannot accompany them due to a busy schedule, do not hesitate to contact our elderly care services. Our caretakers can take your loved ones to outdoor locations to help them relax and beat the heat.
Summer can be exciting for seniors as they plan to travel, visit loved ones, and bask in the sunshine. However, it is important to take extra care to ensure their safety and well-being during this season. You can provide additional attention and support to ensure you and your loved one have a memorable and enjoyable summer. If you require assistance, do not hesitate to contact Anvayaa Senior Care Services. Our experienced caretakers can check on your loved ones, handle their groceries and medical bills, and take them out for a good time.