As the temperatures are rising this summer, so are the risks for our loved ones. The heat can be extremely dangerous for the elderly. It is important that we work at The Gables Assisted Living and Memory Care to protect your loved one from the dangers heat can bring. As a team, we can work to make sure your loved one can enjoy the joys of summer in safety.
Here are a few tips and tricks to help maintain your loved one’s highest level of safety in the heat:
- Talk to Their Doctor
As we age, our body slowly loses the ability to adjust to heat as easily as it once could. On top of the normal aging process, there are other factors that may affect your loved one’s ability to regulate temperature. According to Care.com, our elderly family members and friends are likely to have a chronic illness that could make it more difficult for their bodies to recognize and adjust to different weather. They could also be prescribed a medication that inhibit body temperature regulation or perspiration. Set up a time to speak with your senior’s doctor and discuss any health risks that could come with rising temperatures.
- Keep Covered
Where you find the heat, you can find the sun. Though it may provide us with some essential Vitamin D, the phrase “you can never get too much of a good thing” does not stand here. The sun can be harmful to people of all ages, but especially for seniors who already have sensitive skin. When taking your loved one outside, remember to cover them up. Hats with brims that protect your family member or friend’s face will prevent a sunburn on the face. Sunglasses with UV protection are important for you loved one to wear in order to protect their eyesight. Cotton clothing can provide a light and comfortable way to keep your loved one covered. Remember to use a high SPF sunscreen and to apply it as often as suggested on the product. Sunburns are not only painful and uncomfortable for your loved one, but continuous burns can lead to more serious consequences.
- Stay Hydrated
Our loved ones with Dementia, Alzheimer’s, or any other form of memory loss may forget to drink as much water as necessary in the summer. Though we guarantee a high level of physical care for your loved one at The Gables Assisted Living and Memory Care, it is vital that you as a loved one remember to keep them hydrated if you take them out for summer activities and events. Remembering to keep yourself, your elderly loved one, and all those around you hydrated will guarantee healthy and happy fun for everyone!
- Play Safe
Though outdoor activities are a hit in the warmer weather, they may not always be the safest option for your elderly loved one. At The Gables Assisted Living and Memory Care, we maintain a full schedule of optional indoor activities for your loved one to enjoy. We have Netflix nights, salon time, crafts, cooking, and more for your family member or friend to engage in. If a family event is planned outside, find a shaded and cool space where your senior can still enjoy the fun, but in safety. Plan activities where your loved one can feel included but aren’t put at risk.
- Know the Signs
Following these tips can help you to keep an eye out for your loved one’s health during the hot weather, but how do you know if the heat is getting to them? At the Gables Assisted Living and Memory Care, we monitor your family member or friend’s health often and accurately. However, when you take them out to enjoy some quality summer fun, it is essential that you know the signs that the heat may be making them ill. From most mild to most severe, here are some of the ways the heat rising can hurt your loved one.
HEAT FATIGUE is a feeling of weakness. According to Care.com, warning signs may include but are not limited to:
- Cool/Moist Skin
HEAT EXHAUSTION can occur from numerous days of exposure to high temperatures and an inadequate amount of liquid intake and output. Easy Living tells us warning signs of heat exhaustion may include but are not limited to:
- Heavy Sweating
- Muscle Cramps
- Sudden Confusion or Irritability
HEAT STROKE is the most serious of heat-related illnesses. The Mayo Clinic identifies heat stroke as “a result of prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures.” Heat stroke requires emergency treatment. If you believe your loved one may be suffering from heat stroke, call 911 or seek immediate professional health care. Easy Living recognizes warning signs of heat stroke may include but are not limited to:
- Extremely High Body Temperatures (above 103°F)
- Red/Hot/Dry Skin with no Sweating
- Rapid/Strong Pulse
- Altered Mental State or Behavior
At The Gables Assisted Living and Memory Care we guarantee your loved one’s health in all seasons is our top priority. We monitor our residents closely as the heat rises and drops to ensure their safety, health, and happiness. You can easily enjoy summer fun with your loved one by practicing all of these tips and keeping a close eye on any changes in their physical, emotional, or mental health. Summer can be happy, healthy, and fun for all if we maintain our highest level of safety.