With summer just around the corner, the possibility of a heat wave increases. Hot weather can pose a dangerous and even deadly threat to seniors, leading to exhaustion and heat stroke. Granite Bay, Folsom, and Placer County elder care experts have some tips to help your elderly loved one prevent this danger.
Look for the Warning Signs
During the hot summer months, try to visit your loved one at least twice a day. This helps you look out for signs associated with heat exhaustion, such as:
- Breathing problems
- Dry skin
- Lack of sweating
- Unsteady or staggering movements
- High temperature
- Rapid heartbeat
- Throbbing headache
Move your loved one from the heat if he or she experiences any of these symptoms, and you may need to call 911 if the symptoms are severe. Wipe him or her down with a cool, wet towel or have him or her take a cold shower to cool down.
Increase Fluid Intake
Encourage your loved one to drink more liquids during the hot months. Drinking cold beverages can help keep your loved one hydrated, which can help prevent heat stroke and increase his or her overall health. However, if your loved one is currently taking heart medications, diuretics, or sedatives, consult with his or her doctor to find out how much water he or she should drink during the hot months to avoid heat exhaustion.
Encourage Healthy Habits
Being overweight and underweight can put seniors at a higher risk of heat stroke. It is important for your loved one to eat well, avoid smoking or drinking alcoholic beverages, and exercise moderately to remain healthy. However, exercise can lead to dizziness or heat exhaustion during hot weather, which means your loved one should exercise indoors, during midday hours. Be sure your loved one avoids sugary or caffeinated drinks because these can cause dehydration.
Manage Diseases Effectively
Seniors over 50 are more prone to lung, kidney, and heart disease. These medical issues can put your loved one at a higher risk of complications during hot weather. Make sure your loved one is taking his or her medications as ordered and avoiding stressors. Stress leads to high blood pressure, which puts seniors at risk of developing heart and kidney disease. Maintaining good hygiene can also help your loved one prevent infections and flu symptoms, both of which lead to lung disease and increase his or her odds of heat stroke. Schedule regular doctor visits for your loved one, and make sure he or she receives important vaccinations.
If you are concerned about your loved one’s safety at home or the ability to complete daily activities as we head into the warmer months, turn to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and stroke home care Placer County families can count on, and our caregivers are available for hourly and 24-hour live-in care. For more information on our elderly care services, call one of our Care Managers at 916.226.3737 today.