Calgary may not be known as the hottest place on the map. But during the summertime, we can experience some pretty hot days here. If you live with an elderly loved one, those hot days must be prepared for. The last thing you want is for the senior in your life to experience heat stroke or heat exhaustion.
“Heat strokes occur when the body can no longer manage its temperature,” explains Merritt Whitley on APlaceForMom.com, “It’s defined as a temperature of more than 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celcius) with neurological signs such as confusion, seizures, or loss of consciousness. Heat exhaustion typically occurs after excessive sweating. It’s the body’s response to an extreme loss of salt and water.”
So what can you do to prevent your elderly loved one from heat stroke this summer?
Always have plenty of water readily available.
Whether you remain at home (a safe practice during the coronavirus pandemic) or head outdoors, be sure to have a bottle of water handy. Staying hydrated is a requirement for optimum health. And that goes for people of all ages. But during the summer’s hot months, it’s wise to drink plenty of water to ward off any potential of heat stroke or heat exhaustion.
HealthInAging.org warns that not all beverages are ideal for staying hydrated. “Drink plenty of cool water, clear juices, and other liquids that don’t contain alcohol or caffeine,” advises the site, “Alcohol and caffeine cause you to lose water in your body by making you urinate more.”
Dress to not stress.
Sometimes dressing to impress is bad for your health. Your elderly loved one may be attached to his/her snazzy jacket. But that doesn’t mean it should be taken out of the closet this summer. Encourage the senior in your home to wear light, loose-fitting clothing to ensure extreme comfort and coolness. As June Fletcher notes on AgingCare.com, sometimes seniors simply dress inappropriately for warm weather.
“Make sure that their clothing is lightweight, not too form-fitting and light in color,” she insists, “Hats are useful, but make sure they are loosely woven or well ventilated, so they don’t trap heat. A broad brim is also crucial for shading the entire face.”
Try to avoid the outdoors during midday hours.
Always check your local weather forecasts. If extreme heat warnings are in effect, it’s best to stay at home inside an air conditioned environment. However, even when the weather isn’t particularly sweltering, it’s wise to avoid the hottest times of the day. As Whitley warns, during periods of extreme heat, the best time to be outdoors is before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m., when the temperature tends to be cooler.
She also points out that some of the best ways to beat the heat inside are to close your windows and blinds during the day; take cool baths or showers; sleep in your coolest room and use light linens; and turn off artificial lighting and electronics.
At Advantage Home Health Solutions, we’d love to help your elderly loved stay cool and comfortable all summer long. If you have any questions about our accessibility and 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!
We’d also like to invite you to the grand opening of our new location on July 24th and 25th! Get the details HERE!