Beat the heat – Part II: Elderly care advice

June, 2013 medium_7644298444

Welcome back to our top 10 countdown of health tips and advice for the elderly and their families to help them beat the heat and stay safe this summer. Last week we looked at points 10-6 and today we wrap things up with our top 5…

5) When planning an outing or picnic, seniors coming along prefer places with cool shades and ventilation such as covered places and shaded trees so bear this in mind.

4) I scream for ice cream! Give everyone enjoys a cool treat like ice creams, popsicles and any other frozen refreshing treats. Not only do they taste lovely but it’s also a great way to keep everyone cool during the hot season.

3) Some medications and/or diets can increase risk; hot weather can accelerate dehydration, especially in people who are taking medications that have the side effects of fluid and electrolyte loss. Many medications, particularly antibiotics and diuretics can block the body’s natural ability to cope with the sun and heat. You should always check with a pharmacist or doctor to ensure that medications will not cause your loved ones to be more susceptible to heat-related problems. Also, if your elderly relative are on a low carbohydrate diet, be sure they drink plenty of fluids, as the additional proteins in this diet can cause the body to heat up more quickly.

2) If you provide home care for elderly people, be it friends or family, but are unable to visit every day try to arrange to have someone to keep an eye on your elderly relative’s safety at all times. Maybe a neighbor to check on them daily while you are out of the house? Be sure to provide your family member with relevant contact numbers in times of emergency.

1) If ever you observe signs of heat exhaustion or dehydration such as weakness, nausea, either no or heavy sweating, rapid pulse, and/or fainting, immediately move the affected senior to the nearest cool shade and provide with ventilation and hydrants like cool juice or water. Call for medical assistance as soon as it is necessary.


Image courtesy of Flickr, kate hiscock

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