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.
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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