During the hot summer days in Arizona, it is essential that seniors take necessary precautions to protect themselves from the summer heat. Heat related illness is something for everyone to be cautious of during the summer months, but people over age 65 are especially vulnerable. In adults over age 65, adequate hydration becomes even more of an issue because of decreased circulation, and their bodies do not sweat as easily. Here is a list of simple steps to help make the summer heat more safe and bearable for older adults and seniors:
Some medications that older adults and seniors take result in fluid and electrolyte loss and increase dehydration. Particular medications make it difficult for the body to adjust to hot temperatures and the sun; find out from your doctor or pharmacist if any prescribed medications require extra preventative measures around heat and the sun.
Stay hydrated by drinking more liquids. Be aware that alcoholic beverages and beverages with caffeine increase urination and increase chance of dehydration. If alcoholic beverages or beverages with caffeine are consumed, drink additional glasses of water to replace fluid loss.
Have adequate air conditioning and air flow within the home. To help stay cool, take cool showers or baths to help decrease body temperature and feel refreshed.
Clothing that is light weight, light in color, and made from natural fibers such as cotton, is more breathable and comfortable than synthetic and darkly colored fabrics.
As most who live in the Phoenix metro area know, avoid direct heat and sun exposure during the summer months. The safest times to be outside are in the early morning hours after the sun has just risen, or after the sun has gone down. If you do go outside in the sun for a short period of time, wear sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, sunglasses and a broad-rimmed hat.
If you are the caregiver for a loved one, have daily check-ins calls, especially during extreme heat warnings to ensure your loved one’s safety, comfort, and well-being.
While the summer months in Sun City and the Phoenix area are intense, taking simple precautions help make it more bearable. If you or a loved one is interested in help from a caregiver in Sun City or surrounding areas, give us a call. At Care from the Heart we specialize in providing quality, compassionate and affordable care and have been doing so for over 25 years in Sun City and the Northwest Valley. Call or contact us today for a free assessment and to answer any of your caregiving questions.