Although the spring season has only just gotten underway, we know that there are many Canadians who are already eagerly anticipating the summer. We have a little over two months for the summer to officially arrive, but it’s certainly not too early to begin planning our summer vacations.
As well, it’s definitely not too early to consider the very important safety precautions that should be taken to ensure that your elderly loved ones are kept safe during the year’s warmest months. As you’re likely aware, seniors are more susceptible to enduring health issues due to the heat than their younger counterparts. So, it’s wise to help them keep cool all summer long.
Seek the shade.
Thankfully, there are many buildings, trees and awnings out there that can give us all a little reprieve from the sun. When going outside with the senior in your life, be sure to visit locations where there is ample shade available. This is especially important during the times of the day when the sun’s rays are at their strongest. That’s generally between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
“When you’re outside, try to stick to the shade so you aren’t as exposed to the sun’s most intense rays,” advises Tim Watt of Sunrise Senior Living, “But staying shaded also applies to properly shielding your home from the sun…keep your house cool by keeping the curtains drawn and the sun out.”
This is a good piece of advice for people of all ages. Naturally, warmer weather creates perspiration. And the more you sweat, the more your body needs to replenish its fluids. According to Comfort Keepers, seniors with such medical issues as lung disease, kidney disease or any other illness that causes general illness or fever need to be extra vigilant during the summer in staying hydrated and keeping cool.
“Dressing in cool, lightweight clothing; taking frequent breaks in cool, air-conditioned locations; drinking plenty of fluids while avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and sugary drinks; wearing well-ventilated shoes; and scheduling outdoor activities during the cooler hours of the day are steps seniors and other adults can take to prevent heat injuries,” says the site.
Watch out for signs of distress.
There’s no one better than your elderly loved one to tell you how the heat is impacting his/her health. Sometimes, the signs of distress aren’t verbal. So pay close attention to the older adult in your life and look out for moody behaviour, dry skin with no sweat, headaches, fainting, trouble breathing, nausea or vomiting.
“Educate yourself on the signs of the condition known as hyperthermia,” says Watt, “This is when the body gets too hot and can result in life threatening conditions, including heat stroke. If you know the warning signs, you could save a life, or even your own.”
The Advantage Home Health Solutions team is committed to helping seniors enjoy the upcoming summer. If you have any questions about our mobility solutions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 403-460-5438. You may also email us by filling out the form on our Contact page!