The summer time isn't just a time for some nasty bugs like colds that wreck havoc on our bodies, but also for potential health risks associated with warmer weather. Seniors can be particularly affected in hotter weather, so there are a number of things you should keep in mind when you are caring for your elderly friends and relatives over the summer. Here are a couple of tips to help you during the upcoming months.
- Check out any medicines or creams that may suffer with potency issues in the higher temperatures. Make sure that anything that should be stored in a cooler location is stored in a cooler location, especially if it's a critical medication.
- Keep water intake high and consider substituting with higher electrolyte content such as one or two sports based drinks or medical rehydration salts every day, especially if you don't get enough water as you should.
- Make sure you dress for the weather. Don't wear anything too heavy, especially if you will be doing some walking or working in the garden. Sunscreen should be used to prevent burns and reapply if out in the sun for long periods of time. Make sure to take lots of breaks and rest in the shade.
- Take a trip to a local shopping mall, your favorite coffee shop, theater or library. All of these places are air conditioned usually so they can help provide a refuge from the hot weather, particularly if you don't have air conditioning in your home or your elderly friend does not either.
- Keep temperatures down and beware of hyperthermia. The opposite of hypothermia, hyperthermia is the overheating of the body to dangerous levels. Symptoms include a higher body temperature, fainting, headaches, not sweating, dry skin, dehydration. Get the person out of the sun, into the shade, cooled down as soon as possible and seek medical attention.
- Finally check in frequently, especially if there's a long period of hot weather. Seniors can find it difficult if a hot spell goes on for a long period of time, so check in as much as you can by phone or visiting and offer to take them somewhere to cool off, such as the cinema or for a shopping trip.