In the summer, safety takes on added importance for senior adults who may need to take some extra precautions to avoid the negative effects of exposure to the heat. While everyone knows that sunscreen and staying indoors during the hottest parts of the day are essential, here are some of the lesser known tips for keeping safe as the temperatures begin to rise, presented by Home Care Assistance, the leading provider of in-home care in Lincoln.
Check Medication Side Effects
Many senior adults take medications to manage health conditions that may make them more vulnerable to the summer heat. For this reason, seniors should check the list of side effects for each medication they take to ensure that it does not include sensitivity to UV rays or heat. Those who take these types of medications will need to avoid direct contact with the sun’s rays, apply sunscreen and strive to stay within air conditioned environments during the height of the summer.
Know the Warning Signs of Heat Stroke
The senior population is more vulnerable to heat stroke which requires immediate medical attention. Seniors and their Lincoln caregivers should be aware of the warning signs such as lethargy, nausea, dry skin and a rapid pulse. If heat stroke is suspected, then it is important to get a senior to a cool environment until medical personnel can arrive.
Limit Dehydrating Beverages
Many seniors know that it is important to stay hydrated throughout the summer, yet it is often too tempting to enjoy an alcoholic or caffeinated beverage instead of a glass of water. Unfortunately, alcohol and caffeine can increase one’s sensitivity to the heat and can contribute to dehydration. Instead, seniors should strive to drink eight glasses of water a day, and delicious frozen smoothies or popsicles can be substituted for sodas.
Establish a Buddy System
Even with the best of precautions, it is possible for a senior to succumb to the heat due to a faulty air conditioner or too much time outdoors. Seniors should establish a buddy system and ask their companions and caregivers to check in on them throughout the day to make sure they are staying cool. This way, everyone can enjoy a safe and active summer while avoiding the heat.
Stay safe in the summer heat with help from a professional Home Care Assistance caregiver. Our caregivers are highly trained, compassionate and can help seniors with daily activities from housecleaning and personal care to medication reminders and transportation. Simply dial 402-261-5158 and speak to a Care Manager and schedule your free, in-home consultation and learn more about hourly and live-in home care in Lincoln, NE.