When you get older, you don’t sweat as much. Sweat helps regulate your body temperature, so that becomes a problem. Without the safety system in place to help cool your body, you’re more likely to overheat. Older adults have a higher risk of heat exhaustion and heatstroke than younger adults. Your parents need to be careful when it’s hot out. If they have a chronic health issue, are on a low-sodium diet, dress in too many layers, or avoid running their air conditioner, they’re more likely to overheat. Use the following senior care tips to help keep your senior safe.
Tips to Help Them Stay Hydrated
If your parents often forget to drink, you can help them. Look at water bottles that sound an audible alarm or flashlights when it’s time to drink more water. Other water bottles have hours marked on the side and help your parents track when they last had water.
Ideally, your mom should aim for two liters of water, juice, seltzer, tea, or coffee each day. Your dad should aim for three liters. There are exceptions if they have kidney or heart disease. Talk to their doctors to see where their limit is.
Stay Cool and in the Shade
Your parents may love the idea of going outside in their gardens, but they need to stay in if the sun is out and it’s hot. They can wait until after dinner or go outside in the early morning before it gets too hot.
When they are outside, a hat to shade their face, light clothing, and sunglasses. Sunscreen is important to prevent sunburn. Even with sunscreen, they shouldn’t be outside all day. If it’s getting hot, they need to go in.
Run Air Conditioning or Fans
Run air conditioning when they’re inside. If your parents worry about the electricity being used, they should stick in one room and run the AC in there. A den or bedroom is a good option if they’re worried about cooling their whole home.
If they don’t have air conditioning, fans are essential. They should sit in front of a fan and sip water. A cold shower can also help them lower their body temperature.
Eat Cooler Meals
Instead of running the stove or oven, cooler meals are better for hot weather. Make a bowl of pasta salad that contains plenty of vegetables and low-fat cheese. A pasta salad with roasted red peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella pearls, fresh basil, and chickpeas makes for a nutritious meal.
Make Sure Someone Checks In Regularly
Who is checking in to make sure your parents are doing okay? If no one lives close enough, it’s not enough to hope for the best. Call a home care agency and schedule check-ins. Caregivers can stop in and make sure your parents are staying cool, drinking enough water, and help them if something is amiss. Use the senior care tips above to help keep your senior safe.