Beat the heat : elderly care advice

June, 2013 ID-100162200

We all love the sunshine and can’t help but comment as soon as it shows itself however it’s not all fun and games; as one gets older the response of the body to temperatures that are higher changes. On top of that the elderly community are more prone to heat-related diseases because they are more insensitive to heat compared to younger folk.

Don’t get us wrong, we know the summer is the time for more leisure activities, fun and holidays but we also have to be aware of the health conditions caused by too much summer sun…

The most common (and fatal) of these conditions is heat stroke but it doesn’t end there. Other conditions include cramps (caused by lack of water intake), nausea and weakness as well as headaches (caused by exhaustion due to the summer heat).

This week we’re going to look at 10 summer health tips and advice for the elderly and their families to beat the heat and stay safe, starting today with 10-6…

10) Reduce strenuous activities. When the heat rises to high temperatures, the elderly should be kept in cool places out of the sun such as air-conditioned rooms. They should also be advised to reduce their strenuous, physical activities because the more movements they perform, the higher the body temperature will rise.

9) Keep hydrating. The elderly should have plenty of water intake – 4-8 glasses a day is a good guide even if they do not feel thirsty. We also recommend minimising their intake of alcohol and caffeinated drinks, grab a glass of water or any sports drink instead. Also, eating fresh fruits and vegetables can help hydrate the body as well as keeping the body healthy.

8) Avoid too much of sun. Use suntan lotion with SPF 15 or higher when going outdoors, especially for prolonged length of time, even on cloudy or hazy days.

7) Wear a cool dress. To avoid heat-related injuries, the elderly must wear a cool clothing; light colored ones and loose lightweight dress to help in maintaining the normal body temperature.

6) When going outdoors put on more layers of clothes and when going indoors turn on the air conditioning and other ventilating equipments to prevent the body from experiencing too much temperature changes.

Make sure you pop back next week as we address the top 5 ways to keeping caring for your elderly relative in the peak of summer…

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