The Art of Keeping Seniors Safe During Summer’s Hottest Days
The State of California is known for many things. Without question, the heat is one of them. While our state provides us with year-round warmth and sunshine, it’s especially important to be mindful of the heat during the summer. That goes double for seniors. Our elderly loved ones are more susceptible to heatstroke and heat exhaustion than their younger counterparts. Therefore, it’s imperative to find ways of keeping seniors safe during summer’s hottest days.
For senior citizens, wearing comfortable clothing is a must. Many consider sweatpants to be the comfy alternative to traditional slacks. And who can blame them? However, during the summer’s hot months, long pants may not be appropriate. In addition to short-sleeved shirts and shorts, consider hats that will help block the sun’s harmful UV rays.
HealthInAging.org strongly advocates for seniors to dress appropriately during the summer. “Whenever you can, try wearing loose, light-colored clothes,” the site urges, “Avoid dark-colored clothes as they may absorb heat. Top it off with a lightweight, broad-brimmed hat and you are dressing like a pro! These simple changes will help you both stay cool and avoid sunburn.”
Seek the Shade – Indoors and Out
When you’re at home, be sure to run the air conditioner. You certainly don’t want your home to be so warm that it’s uncomfortable for your elderly loved one. Heatstroke and heat exhaustion can occur indoors just as easily as they can outside. When you do venture outdoors, be sure to seek the shade often. There’s no benefit to staying in the sun for extended periods of time. This is especially true for seniors who are particularly fond of going outside.
“If they won’t stay inside, have them sit outside in a shady spot under a ceiling fan or near a box fan,” instructs June Fletcher notes on AgingCare.com, “Try to get them to spend the hottest parts of the day inside if you can. To keep the house cooler without running the air conditioning, close curtains or blinds on the east side of the home during the morning, and the west side in the afternoon.”
It should probably go without saying that it’s wise to make water your friend. Staying hydrated is a vital part of remaining healthy. That is true for people of all ages. However, during the summer months, seniors are especially cautioned to drink plenty of liquids in order to avoid dehydration and heat exhaustion.
“Dehydration in seniors is the root of many heat-related health problems,” alerts Merritt Whitley on APlaceForMom.com, “It removes important salts and minerals from the body. Dehydration can cause dizziness, fatigue, headaches, and other health issues for seniors. Severe or long-term dehydration can lead to hospitalization, bladder infections, kidney stones, and more.”
Keeping Seniors Safe from Heat With A Shower
Might a cool shower be in order? The gentle massage of water running through our hair and down our back is one of the best parts of our day. However, those with mobility limitations often avoid shower time. At Forward Day, our Shower Bay portable showers make it easy for wheelchair users to bathe in any room of the home where it is convenient.