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Most seniors already know that they have to take care of their overall health as they age, and they certainly know how to do most of it. However, it’s the little things that some senior citizens overlook that can lead to them becoming sick and, sometimes, even worse.
It is no secret that senior citizens are more prone to suffering from heat strokes in the severe heat of summer, but that fact is often overlooked until the worst happens. In this blog post, you can find a few tips to help your elderly loved one stay cool and healthy in the extreme heat of summer.
Have Their Air Conditioning Unit Inspected and Repaired
“How much does AC repair cost?” is one of the top questions that senior citizens who are living on a fixed income have to ask on a regular basis. It is highly possible that your favourite senior can’t afford to have their air conditioning unit inspected and repaired, and even more possible that they are going without air conditioning at all during the summer months. Take the job into your own hands and have your elderly loved one’s AC inspected and, if need be, repaired before the extreme heat of summer begins.
Know Your Loved One’s Health Conditions
The first thing you need to do is talk to your loved one’s doctor about their health conditions. For example, are they on any diuretics or low salt diets? Do they suffer from any conditions that can make it difficult for them to regulate their body temperature? This is a key step in protecting your senior citizen when the heat of summer becomes unbearable.
It’s also important to ask them what you should do if you notice the signs and symptoms of heatstroke in your loved one. After all, not every recovery technique works exactly the same for every person. For example, remedies such as lots of water or sports drinks can be harmful instead of helpful to seniors with certain health conditions.
Know the Signs and Symptoms of Heatstroke
You need to educate yourself on the signs and symptoms of heatstroke in the elderly. Remember, the type of medications your senior is taking can have a direct impact on their condition should they have a heat stroke. A few symptoms to look for are listed below.
- A headache that is throbbing
- Dry, hot, red skin, but they aren’t sweating
- A rapid, strong pulse
These are the main symptoms to look for, but there are more. If your loved one is having these symptoms, it’s important to call 911 and have them tested right away. Heatstroke is nothing to play with and it can be deadly for anyone, but it is especially deadly for senior citizens.
Dress for the Weather
Encourage your loved one to dress in clothes that are appropriate for the weather. Loose, lightweight clothing is best. It’s also a good idea to cover them with a flexible ice blanket if they are too hot. If they become chilly in lightweight clothing, cover them with a light bath towel or lightweight blanket.
Dehydration is a very serious and deadly condition for the elderly. Make sure that you encourage your senior to drink water throughout the day so that they stay hydrated. However, try to avoid water that is super-cold as it can cause cramps. It’s also a good idea to talk to your loved one’s primary care provider, so you know how much water your senior needs to be drinking to stay hydrated as well.
These are just a few tips for helping your loved one stay cool and healthy during the summer months. Remember, if the temperatures are soaring, it’s best to keep your senior inside where it’s cool and comfortable until the heatwave passes.