Senior Care Tips: Heat Safety Tips for the Summer Solstice
Senior Care in Princeton NJ
June 21 is the Summer Solstice, which means you will get the most daylight of the entire year. Along with all of this daylight, however, often comes intense heat, and if you are planning on enjoying some of this longest day of the year with your aging loved ones outside, it is important to know how to keep them, and you, safe from the heat. Heat safety is a critical element of any summertime senior care plan, ensuring vulnerable older adults are protected from potentially devastating health consequences related to the higher temperatures.
Use these tips to help keep your outdoor senior care activities safe for the Summer Solstice and the rest of the hot season:
• Keep the blinds closed. Opening up the curtains or blinds during the daylight hours may seem like a great way to bring in extra light so you can avoid turning on lamps, but during the hottest months of the year, it can put your seniors at risk of heat concerns. Closing the blinds during the hours of direct sunlight prevents extra heating of the space so the home is cooler and more comfortable.
• Focus on water. Hydration is critical during hot weather, and it is important to realize that not all fluids are created equal. When outside temperatures climb upwards of 90, people need a gallon or more of water daily. Drinking alcohol, caffeinated beverages, or carbonated beverages contributes to further dehydration.
• Seek out air conditioning. If your elderly parents do not have adequate air conditioning in their home, find ways you can get them to cooler locations, particularly during the time of day when the heat is most intense, which is usually between mid-morning to mid-afternoon. Community centers often offer cooling stations, or you can encourage their senior health care services provider to bring them on outings such as bowling, movies, or window shopping to get them in cooler locations.
• Change your exercise routine. Bring your exercise routine inside or go on walks early in the morning and in the evening when the temperatures are lower and the sun is less intense.
• Dress carefully. Encourage your elderly loved ones to wear lightweight, lightly-colored clothing made from breathable materials. Wearing lightweight long sleeves and pants made from lightly colored cotton keeps you cooler than exposing more skin because it reflects the light.
• Relocate home activities. If possible, keep your aging parents to stay on the lowest level of the home. Heat rises, so upper levels will always be warmer, even when air conditioned. If there is a bedroom available on the lowest level, encourage them to sleep there, as overheating at night can be dangerous to their health.
• Keep tabs on them. Aging adults are particularly susceptible to the damaging effects of heat and can fall victim to the health consequences of this heat extremely quickly. Make sure you stay in touch with them throughout the day and consider hiring their senior home care provider for extra hours to prevent them from being unsupervised for long periods.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring senior care services in Princeton, NJ or the surrounding areas, please call Independence Home Care today at 609-208-1111 for more information.