Protecting Your Loved One From the Summer Heat | Executive Care of Somerville

There’s just something about spending quality time outdoors that is good for the soul, no matter your age.

While older adults can experience many benefits from time spent outside, the higher temperatures that come with the summer can easily become a danger.

So why are the elderly at more of a risk to suffer from heat stress? It has to do with the changes going on in their body. Not only can their physiology come into play, but outside factors like health conditions and medications can play a role in the body’s inability to control temperature.

How Heat Is Dangerous

Heat-related illnesses, usually lumped in with hyperthermia, can become a very serious—if not deadly—risk to older individuals. Included illnesses are:

  • Heat stroke
  • Heat edema
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Heat syncope
  • Heat cramps

Various health-related issues may increase the risk of hyperthermia, and becoming familiar with them could make all the difference for your loved one’s life. Some of these factors include:

  • Age-related changes like poor circulation and inefficient sweat glands
  • High blood pressure or other issues that call for salt-restricted diets
  • Being overweight or underweight
  • Reduced sweating from medications like diuretics, sedatives, etc.

How You Can Keep Your Loved One Safe

There’s no need for protecting your loved one from the heat to be a difficult or time-consuming task.

There are two ways to keep older adults protected from the heat, which are to make sure they are staying hydrated and cool.

It is important that your loved one doesn’t spend too much time outside during the peak heat times, which are between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. During these times, he or she should be enjoying the comforts of an air-conditioned building and not solely relying on a fan to keep cool.

An increased water intake can also help older adults handle the heat better, and they should be sure to drink fluids even when they are not feeling thirsty. Keep in mind there are medical conditions and prescriptions that may influence your loved one’s fluid intake, so his or her doctor should always be consulted first.

These safety tips can help ensure that your aging loved one’s summer is one that is enjoyable, beneficial and safe.

The in-home care services provided by Executive Care of Somerville can work alongside you to ensure your loved one is leading a happy and healthy life throughout the summer and whole year! Contact us today to learn more about the help we can provide.

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