BrightStar Care, experts in home care in Orlando, want you to be aware of appropriate precautions to take, especially during the hottest months of the year, to help protect your elderly loved one from falling victim to dehydration and the related effects of the summer heat.
- Speak with your loved one’s doctor. Many people are unaware of the effect heat and moisture have on certain medications, decreasing their effectiveness if exposed to temperatures higher than 78?. Ask if drinking sweat replacement beverages are appropriate for your loved one based on medications and medical conditions. Be sure to carry water even for quick errand runs. Dehydration can sneak up on seniors very quickly.
- Schedule outings and exercise periods for the cool of the morning or evening. This will keep your senior from being exposed to the hottest parts of the day. Even then, keep exercise and outings limited to brief periods of time to avoid over-exertion.
- Insist on sunglasses. Most people will develop cataracts by the time they have reached the age of 80. Exposure to UV light is one of the leading causes of cataracts and other eye conditions. A good pair of sunglasses will serve to protect the eyes from irritation and potentially delay the development of cataracts.
- Use sunscreen. Some seniors have never worn sunscreen, but it’s never too late to start. Proven to reduce the risk of developing skin cancer and other skin conditions, a minimum of SPF 30 is a great addition to a daily routine. If your loved one is opposed to the application of sunscreen, wearing a hat and protective clothing might be another way to go.
- Be aware of the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. A change in body temperature that increases to over 104? is called hyperthermia. Symptoms of heat stroke can include flushed skin, headache, nausea and vomiting, rapid pulse, changes in respirations, changes in behavior, or not sweating despite exposure to the heat. Seek immediate medical assistance for your loved one is experiencing any or all of these symptoms. Try to move them to a cool location and try to bring down their body temperature while waiting for help to arrive.
- Check in regularly. The intense heat of the summer can pose life-threatening risks to your aging loved one. Encourage them to let you know of plans to be outdoors for any period of time, even if it’s only puttering around the garden, walking the dog, or chatting with neighbors outside. Each of these typical activities may increase the risk of heat exposure. Check in with them more frequently to ensure they are OK and know who to call if you can’t reach them right away.
The whole staff at home care in Orlando, BrightStar Care, takes the health and well-being of your elderly loved one very seriously. The summer months in Florida can take a tremendous toll on the aging if precautions aren’t taken. Contact us now to learn more about BrightStar Care can help. We are “a higher standard.”