Summer is here, fireflies are lighting up the night, barbecue grills are smoking, and kids are running barefoot in the yards of Overland Park and Kansas City. But it’s not all fun and games in the summer. Elderly people in particular are vulnerable to heat waves—this population having experienced a significant increase in cardiovascular deaths related to heat waves since 1999.
At Thoughtful Care, our skilled caregivers are very aware of how vulnerable their clients are to dehydration and the effects of heat. Here are some of our tips for keeping elderly loved ones—particularly those with memory loss— fit during a heat wave.
- Plan accordingly. Try to avoid scheduling events during the hottest part of the day. Do errands, schedule hair appointments and doctor’s visits during the cool morning hours. Take a stroll when the moon is out and the crickets are chirping.
- Hydration hydration hydration. Incidences of trips to the emergency room rise as the thermometer climbs. Why? The heat affects vulnerable bodies the most, and seniors may forget to drink enough water throughout the day. Eating water-rich fruits at meals like watermelon and cantaloupe can help keep loved ones hydrated and well.
- Watch for signs of heat exhaustion. Dizziness, confusion, nausea, flushed skin, and listlessness can indicate that an elderly person is suffering from heat exhaustion. Get your loved one into a cool environment and have them drink non-caffeinated liquids. Heart medication can exacerbate dizziness, so keep a close tab on those taking medications.
- Memory loss is a risk factor. People who have Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia may not be able to indicate that they feel sick. They may also be unable to express themselves and can fall ill without any outward signs. Extra care should be taken to keep these seniors on a regiment of liquids and regular, nutrient-rich meals during the hot summer months.
Thoughtful Care Can Help
Our skilled professionals are trained to keep clients on track, regardless of the weather. Whether it’s taking medication in the right doses at the right time, or making sure your loved one is drinking enough water, our caregivers are here to help, all year ‘round. Contact us today to find out more.