We are now in summer, and this is the period it gets sweltering in Dallas. During this time, it is paramount to take special care of seniors because they are more susceptible to heat stroke. Heat stroke happens when the body overheats due to prolonged exposure to high temperatures. Most times, the elderly’s body can’t adapt to the change in temperature due to old age or chronic medical conditions like Diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and chronic hypertension.
Also, special supervision needs to be given to seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s because of their inability to communicate how they feel. If you providing home safety for seniors here are tips for scaling through extremely hot weather carefully.
Drink Lots of Water
Dehydration is a common occurrence during summer that you should avoid. Encourage your loved one to drink more water than they normally would. Please stay clear of alcohol and caffeine drinks because they cause excessive urination, which leads to dehydration. Please make sure a bottle of water is always by their side.
Stay in a cool or well-conditioned environment
This is the best time to put your air-conditioner to good use. If there isn’t an air conditioner in the house, you can go to public places with air conditioners like a library, malls, and cinemas just to enjoy the relaxed ambiance to ensure senior safety.
Avoid being in the direct sun and, if unavoidably, put on sunscreen to protect the skin.
Wear light clothing
Limit wearing dark-colored clothes as they absorb heat. During extreme hot temperatures, wear lightweight clothes, e.g., chiffons, silks, something free and loose that you can easily remove. Now isn’t the time to wear tightly fitted garments.
Know the signs of heat stroke
As an elderly or someone taking care of the elderly, you should know the signs of heat stroke like the palm of your hands. Heat stroke is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention, so once you see the signs, dial 911 immediately.
Signs of heat stroke include:
- A body temperature greater than 40°C or 104°F
- Feeling faint or dizzy
- Rapid pulse
- Muscle cramp
What to do when seniors experience signs of heat stroke
In most cases, seniors mildly experience this symptom during early onset, but it can also become progressively worse if not appropriately managed.
When you experience any of this, try to take in plenty of fluid, if possible, water and carbonated drinks to avoid dehydration. This can lead to weakness because your body loses electrolytes.
If you are experiencing progressive weakness, try to stay still and rest your body. Also, if you start feeling dizzy, elevate your leg by putting a pillow underneath it. The trick here is that the elevation of the leg aids the return of blood back to the heart, and this reduces the dizziness. If the symptom persists, you can contact Porter Home Health Services if you live in Dallas, TX, and surrounding areas or call 911 immediately.
Taking care of your seniors this Summer
Extremely hot weather can negatively impact seniors’ health, especially those with comorbidities, e.g., Diabetes, Heart disease, and Hypertension. Seniors need adequate care and supervision to maintain optimal health status as we approach the summer period.
If you need assistance with home safety for elderly loved ones during the summer period, do not worry. We know how hard it is to combine your daily job with caring for the elderly, as this can really affect your own quality of health. You can contact Porter Home Health Services as we offer respite care services to fill in for you.