For a lot of people, summertime means fun and vacations. But for most people, it means sweltering heat and humidity.
As summer approaches, you need to look out for your elderly relatives more. They might be having difficulty adjusting to the rising temperatures and finding it hard to stay cool.
You need to ensure that they remain comfortable even in the summer heat. This might mean taking extra precautions to keep them cool and hydrated.
There are a lot of things you might not think about when caring for your senior loved one in the summer. How can you be sure that you’ve got all bases covered for the season?
To help you take better care of your senior relatives this summer, we’ve compiled a few tips to give you an idea of what to look out for at this time of year.
Keep them hydrated
This is the most important thing to look out for when taking care of your senior loved one. You have to ensure that they are drinking enough fluids throughout the day.
Water is still the best drink for them, so make sure they are drinking a glass or more every hour or two. Juice, tea, coffee, soup, and even popsicles also count.
Before you try to get them to drink water, consider their fluid restrictions if there are any. They may also be anxious about drinking a lot of fluids because of having to go to the toilet frequently. Make sure you help ease their worries and help them find solutions to their concerns.
Take care of their skin
Your senior loved one’s delicate skin also needs hydration. Summer heat can cause dry skin, which can result to micro-cuts. Your senior loved one can use a fragrance-free moisturizer just to keep their skin hydrated.
Besides that, you should also consider the surfaces they sit or lie down on. Hot surfaces like upholstery, car seats, outdoor benches, and cemented pool areas can cut them. Check how hot these surfaces are before letting your senior loved one touch them. Having a towel between them and the surface can help.
You should also make sure that they are wearing proper footwear when stepping outside. The soles of their shoes should be solid so that the heat wouldn’t damage their feet.
Keep their home as cool as possible
Indoor air can be extra humid during summer. It can make your senior loved one feel even more hot and tired. You should see to it that they have enough fans at home, and check if their airconditioners need servicing.
Check if there are pieces of furniture that are placed in sunny spots in the home and move them as necessary. If they don’t have window shades, have it installed, and keep them pulled down even under draperies.
Make sure they’re wearing loose and airy clothes inside the house as well. Light clothing also helps keep them cool, but you can also layer as needed.
Prepare for sun exposure
When your senior loved one needs to go outside, especially in high heat, make sure they’re protected. Their health conditions and medications might interact negatively with sun exposure, so they need extra sun protection.
Sunburn will be especially bad to deal with, so give them enough sunscreen to use. You can reapply if you ever stay long out in the sun, so always have it handy with you.
Sun hats and long sleeve shirts also help protect their skin. Make sure they wear appropriate clothing whenever you head out, so that they stay cool but also remain protected from the sun at the same time.
Pay attention to food storage
Summer heat and humidity can lead to faster food spoilage. Make sure you store food in the refrigerator, even when you otherwise won’t.
You should also keep your kitchen cool during the day so that your food items in the pantry won’t spoil easily. Try to avoid using the oven later in the day to ensure that your kitchen stays cool.
Take note of medications that need to be stored properly as well. Some medications exposed to heat become unstable and less effective. Check labels to find out how to store them and keep them away from direct sunlight as well.