Hot weather can be fatal for the elderly. In fact, a huge chunk of heat-related deaths in the US were among people over 65. Because of the myriad health conditions that make the elderly susceptible to heat stroke or heat exhaustion, proper care for them should be observed. This is particularly important when it gets really hot. Here are some effective ways for people looking out for seniors in the hot weather.
Preventing heat stroke and heat exhaustion should come first and foremost for the elderly since heat vulnerability can lead to a tragic end. Here are some ways to ensure the safety of seniors in hot weather.
The most basic things when looking out for seniors in the hot weather is to make sure that they have taken enough liquids especially water. Dehydration can easily trigger heat-related problems so staying hydrated is imperative for the elderly. Caffeinated and carbonated drinks do not count since they really do not hydrate. Water is still best in this case.
Strenuous activity should be avoided by seniors during hot weather. It is essential that they take it easy to keep much needed moisture intact. Too many activities may lead to heat exhaustion and it becomes exponentially difficult when the elderly already exhibit symptoms of heat-related problems. Prevent this potentially fatal situation by making sure seniors are well-rested during those hot days.
- Plan Ahead
Do not be caught unaware. Take note of the heat index as reported online or in local weather news. This way, caregivers can appropriately plan out activities for seniors on any given day.
- Wear Appropriate Clothing
Let the elderly dress accordingly. If it gets hot, it is best to wear something that is lightweight, loose, and light-colored. One can also have an umbrella or a hat that can shield him/her from direct exposure to heat. Of course, the best thing is to stay indoors, but if they have to go out, make sure they are dressed according to the prevailing temperature.
- Know the Symptoms
It is always helpful to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. In this particular case, it is the onset of symptoms of heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion, or worse, heat stroke.
Symptoms include dizziness, loss of appetite, and muscle cramping, among others. Once these are observed, first aid measures such as cooling off or hydration should be taken. If these do not work, medical attention should be sought immediately.
Looking out for seniors in the hot weather is an integral part of caring for the elderly. Prevent heat-related fatalities from ever happening by ensuring proper care during those hot days.
Written by The Village Of Bedford Walk, a senior living community in Columbia, MO.