Home Care Blog>In Home Care | July 15, 2020
Summer Safety for Seniors | Summer can get quite hot, and it’s especially important to make sure seniors are staying healthy and safe during warm days. Here are some ways to make sure your senior is safe this summer.
Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can be dangerous to seniors. Although heat exhaustion is not life-threatening, it can turn into heat stroke – which can be life-threatening – if not treated. Symptoms of heat exhaustion are heavy sweating, muscle cramps, tiredness or weakness, cold or clammy skin, headache, and nausea. You may also notice a fast and weak pulse. If your loved one is showing these symptoms, get them into a cool place immediately and have them drink water or an electrolyte drink. If they have high blood pressure or heart problems, call 911.
Heat stroke has similar symptoms, except they will have a temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit or more, and they will not be sweating. People with heat stroke often faint as well. In this case, get them to a cooler area, but do not have them drink water, as they may be in and out of consciousness which can increase risk of choking. Place cool compresses on their skin to help bring down their temperature, and call 911 immediately.
Prevent your senior from getting heat stroke by making sure they stay hydrated. Some seniors lose their sense of thirst and don’t drink enough water, so it’s important to make sure that they’re regularly drinking water throughout the day. Seniors should drink around 7 or 8 cups of water per day. Supplementing with sports drinks is great in the heat as well.
Aging skin needs special care, especially when in the sun. Make sure your loved one applies sunscreen anytime they’re spending time outside. Look for SPF 30 and make sure to reapply every two hours. Not only are sunburns painful, but sun damage can cause skin cancer.
#DYK – Many Older Adults Don’t Protect Their Skin from the Sun – Less than half of older adults protect their skin from the sun when outside for an hour or more on a warm, sunny day. This may raise their risk of getting skin cancer. (Source: CDC.gov)
UV rays are strongest between 10am and 4pm, so if possible, limit your senior’s sun exposure during that time. Evenings and mornings are great times for your loved one to get their vitamin D while lowering their risk of heat exhaustion or sunburn. If they do choose to be out in the sun during the hottest part of the day, encourage them to spend some of the time in the shade. And either way, a pair of sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat are great ways to protect the eyes and face from too much UV.
At Comfort Keepers®, can help keep your loved one safe during the summer by accompanying them on outdoor excursions or helping them apply sunscreen. If in-home caregiving seems like a good option for your loved one, contact us at our Calgary location today. We look forward to bringing more cheer into your loved one’s life. For more information about Comfort Keepers’ services, reach out to the Calgary, Alberta office today.