Monday, July 7, 2014

Getting Your Senior Ready for Summer Heat Waves

For great summer home care, Durham families should start by helping their older family and friends get ready for rising temperatures. The season is filled with cookouts, afternoons outside, and warm, sunny days. But summer also poses dangers, especially for older adults. Hot and humid weather can cause heat illnesses, and seniors are especially vulnerable. They may not adjust as efficiently to changing temperatures as young people, and prescriptions or medical conditions may interfere with proper temperature regulation. But by taking a few precautions, you can help provide great senior care to your loved ones and help them stay safe and comfortable all summer long. 
Because being outdoors is so enjoyable and great for a sense of well-being, you may not want to discourage your elderly loved one from avoiding it altogether. Rather, work with them to help them find ways to enjoy the season while reducing their risk of heat-related illnesses. 
If your older relative or friend lives on their own, make sure they are aware of the dangers this season. Talk to them about the warning signs that could signal they are experiencing heat-related illnesses and need medical attention immediately. 
Heat Stroke
Heat stroke is considered to be the most hazardous heat-related illness and can happen when the body is no longer able to regulate temperature. If heat stroke occurs, body temperature will rise quickly and the body will no longer be able to sweat and cool off. Body temperature can surpass 106 degrees Fahrenheit in just 10 minutes. It could lead to permanent disability or even death if medical attention is not provided. Common symptoms of heat stroke include:
-Unusually high body temperature
-Strong and rapid pulse
-Hot, dry, red skin without perspiration
Heat Exhaustion
Heat exhaustion is milder than heat stroke, but is still an incredibly dangerous form of heat-related illness. It can develop over time, if your loved one is chronically exposed to hot temperatures, or is not properly hydrated. Some traditional symptoms of heat exhaustion may include:
-Pale skin
-Profuse sweating
-Tiredness or weakness
-Vomiting or nausea
-Cool, moist skin
-Weak and rapid pulse
-Shallow and quick breathing
How You Can Help Keep Your Loved One Safe
To support senior health and help your loved one avoid these conditions, advise them on ways to stay safe this season. Some great ways to protect against heat-related illnesses are:
-Drinking cool, non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic beverages.
-Getting plenty of rest.
-Taking a cool bath, shower, or sponge bath. Help your loved one stay safe by making sure their showers or tubs are lined with non-skid stickers to prevent falls while cooling off. 
-Installing air conditioning in the home or advising your loved one on the nearest places that provide air conditioning. Consider the local movie theater, shopping mall, senior center, or library.
-Wearing loose fitting, lightly colored clothing.
-Avoiding strenuous activity while temperatures are high. 
In addition to teaching your loved one about these risk-reducing tips, you should also try to check in with them at least twice daily. Ask them about any signs of heat stroke or exhaustion, and remind them to increase their fluid intake.
By taking these steps and working with your elderly family members and friends, you can reduce their risks of heat-related illnesses and help them stay safe and comfortable this summer.


  1. I think one of the most important things about senior at home care, is making sure you have the right amount of supplies, if you have everything you need to, then there shouldn't be any problem about doing the care right from the comfort of your own home.

    Jim Tracy |

  2. I appreciate the information! My mother usually struggles during the summer. She prefers to drink soda over water, so I think it's because she's dehydrated. I'm thinking of hiring a senior care professional to look after my mom. She lives alone in a city that's a couple of hours from where I live. I worry about her, so it would help me feel better to know that there is someone checking up on her to make sure that she's safe.
    Bill Li |

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  4. Hi..
    Extremely very useful information to make caring for an aging loved one. Thanks for sharing nice ideas. Know more about Elder care services in Hyderabad