With summer quickly approaching, it is imperative that caregivers know how to help senior citizens stay healthy during extreme temperatures. Placer County senior care experts know how hot the area can get. So, we’ve come up a list of 7 ways to help your senior loved one stay cool as the temperature heats up!
1. If possible, make sure your loved one has an air conditioning unit. If he or she cannot afford one, contact the local agency on aging and ask about programs that provide free units and help with paying cooling bills for those who qualify.
2. If A/C isn’t an option, open windows on opposite sides of the room to create a cross breeze. Wearing loose fitting clothing that has been dampened with a spray bottle of water and using a fan can also be very helpful.
3. Make sure any windows that are in direct sunlight are covered. Blinds should be installed and kept closed, or you can invest in energy efficient curtains that block out the sun.
4. Be sure to remind your elderly relative that by the time they become thirsty, they are already slightly dehydrated. Encourage them to drink at least 8 glasses of fluids a day that are free of caffeine or alcohol. Beverages containing electrolytes, such as coconut water and Gatorade, are perfect for extreme temperatures.
5. Check to see if your senior loved one takes any medications that may make him or her more sensitive to sun exposure. Some prescriptions affect the way the body regulates its core temperature.
6. High temperatures can decrease appetite, especially in seniors. Encourage your loved one to eat small meals and to avoid eating too much protein since it speeds up the metabolism. An increase in the body’s metabolic rate can cause water loss and therefore make it more likely that dehydration will occur.
7. If your loved one is having difficulty tolerating the heat and nothing seems to help at home, locate a cooling center. Many communities will set up cooling centers at places like fire stations and community centers to allow senior citizens to sit inside the air conditioning that they may desperately need.
Want to know more about senior safety? Reach out to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading senior home care provider, including specialized Placer County dementia care, stroke care, and Parkinson’s care. Our dedicated Care Managers are available 24/7 to answer your questions or discuss care plans. Call 916.226.3737 today and schedule your free in-home consultation.