How Seniors Can Safely Enjoy the Summertime Heat | Executive Care of Richmond

Enjoying some quality outdoors time during the summer is always an excellent time, regardless of your age.

There are a plethora of benefits from spending time outside, but for seniors, the positives could turn to negatives if time in the heat is not monitored and limited.

Older adults can be more likely to suffer from heat stress because of some changes to their bodies that come with age. It’s not just physiology that could impede their body’s management of temperature, but health conditions and medications could also be to blame depending on the circumstance.

Harmful Heat

Heat-related illnesses, which are found under the scope of hyperthermia, are not only capable of posing serious threats to the elderly, but even potentially life-ending ones. These illnesses include:

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

There are other health-related factors that may boost the risk of hyperthermia, so make sure you are familiar with them, as it could prove lifesaving. 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 to Keep Your Loved One Safe

You do not have to fear the difficulties of keeping your loved one safe from the risks that come along with high temperatures, as it can actually be quite simple.

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

Peak heat times fall between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., so you should be sure your loved one is limiting outdoor exposure then. He or she should also be staying in air-conditioned areas and not relying solely on a fan as a cooling source when the temperatures heat up.

It is wise for older adults to drink a bit more water when hanging out in the heat, and equally important that they do not wait until they feel thirsty to take a drink. Take precautions if they have medical issues or prescriptions that require a limit on fluid intake. It is always best to consult with your loved one’s doctor to find out the ideal amount to drink throughout the day.

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

The in-home care services provided by Executive Care of Richmond 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.