Temperatures are on the rise and it’s time to start thinking about spending more time outdoors. However, being outside in sweltering temperatures can be extremely dangerous for seniors, which is why those in assisted living care in Oklahoma City need to be aware of the heat and how to stay healthy. The following senior safety tips will ensure you beat the heat and stay as healthy as possible this summer.
The temperatures are typically hottest around noon and in the early afternoon hours. During these times, it’s important to try to keep seniors inside as much as possible. Most assisted living for seniors should have air conditioning units. If your senior loved one doesn’t have air conditioning or refuses to use it, use ceiling fans or box fans to help circulate air and keep things a little cooler. You should also encourage them to spend time at a senior center, library or other location with air conditioning. Even a couple of hours a day in these locations can help reduce the risk of heat stroke and other heat-related conditions.
If you simply must spend time outdoors, plan ahead as much as you can. Try to choose a day that’s cloudy or has lower forecasted temperatures. If the date can’t be avoided, stay out of the sun as much as possible and try to attend during the cooler morning or evening hours. Be sure to use sunscreen and wear a hat. Always pay attention to senior loved ones when out on a hot day. As soon as they show any signs of heat stroke, get them into the shade or a cooled area and provide something to drink.
It’s not uncommon for seniors to lose a sense of thirst, which means they may not be drinking as much as they should. Because the body is made up mostly of water, it’s critical to replenish it often. However, the typical eight glasses a day isn’t enough when you’re sweating in the heat. Therefore, it’s important to make sure your senior loved one has constant access to water or another cooling drink. Avoid hot drinks, sugary drinks and alcohol because these are more likely to either raise their temperature further or increase the dehydration.
In addition to these senior safety tips, it’s essential to know what you should look for in terms of heat stroke symptoms. Some of the most common include feelings of dizziness, nausea, vomiting, pale or clammy skin, rapid pulse, excessive sweating, extreme thirst and others. If your loved one is exhibiting any of these signs or anything else out of the ordinary, get them out of the sun, undress them as much as possible, apply cold water and give them something to drink after you call for medical assistance. This will help get them on the road to recovery as quickly as possible.
If you’re looking for more tips to help keep your senior loved one safe from the summer heat, contact us. We can tell you more about what we recommend to our residents in assisted living care in Oklahoma City.