Jul 30 Care Mission

Help a Senior Stay Cool

Seniors are more likely to be affected by the summer heat. Take a few simple steps to help everyone be safer this summer, no matter how hot it gets.

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The Facts: According to the University of Chicago Medical Center, 40 percent of heat-related fatalities in the U.S. are among people over 65. Why? In general, older adults have more trouble adjusting to sudden temperature changes. They are also more likely to have a chronic medical condition or take medications that may make it difficult for their bodies to self-regulate temperature.

This summer, check on a senior relative or neighbor to help ensure they are staying cool and hydrated. Before you go, read these tips that may help beat the heat:

  • Ensure the senior is drinking enough water. The general rule is eight glasses of water a day, but that may differ for someone taking medications. Pour a pitcher of water for a senior with glasses nearby to encourage drinking or keep water bottles in multiple rooms.

  • Foods with a high-water content can increase hydration. These foods include watermelon, cantaloupe, peaches, cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes, and celery, to name a few. Popsicles and smoothies are another way to sneak in some hydration.

  • Get out of the sun. Plan an indoor activity with a senior during the hottest part of the day, usually between 3–5 p.m.

  • In the house, close blinds and curtains to help the house stay cooler. Encourage the senior to continue using air conditioning to keep the temperature comfortable.

  • Know the signs. Dizziness, nausea, headache, rapid heartbeat, chest pain and breathing problems can all be signs of heat-related or other health problems. Seek medical attention immediately.

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Community Comments

  1. Nancy Cooksey

    12 Missions Completed

    2

    Since my senior husband had neck surgery late June and is in a cervical collar the rest of the summer our ac has been set pretty low and I have to escape to the outdoors to warm up! I am always reminding him that the doctor said to drink plenty of water and go for walks! It’s tough being a caregiver sometimes and we have to give up personal time, but if it works , that’s the least we can do for our loved ones! ❤️

  2. Lenore A Daw

    9 Missions Completed

    2

    Good advice.

  3. Kyle

    9 Missions Completed

    2

    I’ve been visiting my mother in Santa Fe, celebrating her 93rd birthday! The high elevation and dry climate means we’ve been drinking a lot of water and covering up when out in the sun.

  4. Yi Yi

    2 Missions Completed

    2

    When I live with my old patient, during summer at early (5am) I will open the door & window, made fresh air to come in & made old air outside, at (9am)or (8:30am)the sun shine come down I will close all the door. Made Temperature (75 degree) in the house. We are also comfortable the whole day in the house.

  5. Karen

    1 Mission Completed

    2

    Lack of hydration in the heat can cause sudden drop in blood pressure in older people, and that can lead to fainting and/ or falling.

  6. Diane

    3 Missions Completed

    2

    Good reminder for all. Some seniors I visit do not have AC or don’t want to use it. Quite often opening from and back windows/doors will create a nice breeze

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