When the Weather Gets Hot: How to Provide Comfort and Care to the Elderly

The hot, humid days of summer can be particularly harmful to individuals receiving elderly care services. Whether you are a care companion, a senior, or the child of a senior providing care, it’s important to pay attention to the hot weather. Breathing problems, heat related exhaustion, and dehydration can impact a senior more readily in the hot weather. Pay attention to the heat index and know when it’s time to head indoors for some air-conditioned relief from the hot air. If you have a loved one that you are worried about in the hot weather, it’s time to check in with Fairfield Family Care in Stamford, CT to see what services can be provided.

Be Mindful of Hydration

Dehydration is a leading cause of illness when the weather gets hot and humid. For those providing elderly care services, it is important to provide plenty of opportunities for the individual you are caring for to drink water. If you are going out for the afternoon, bring plenty of cold water to keep you and the senior safe from dehydration. If the senior reports feeling hot or hasn’t had anything to drink for more than an hour, it’s time to find a cool, quiet place to relax.

Clothing Makes a Big Difference

Pay attention to what you are wearing during the hot humid weather. While a sweater may feel necessary in an air-conditioned room, it won’t be necessary once a senior goes outside in hot, humid weather. If you are a care companion, check that the senior you are caring for is wearing comfortable layers, that the clothing is light and appropriate for the weather. A person who has dementia may not realize that the weather is hot and the jacket they are wearing is causing them to overheat. Providing elderly care services for those with dementia involves paying attention to clothing, food intake, and hydration to keep a senior comfortable throughout the day.

Stay Out of the Hot Noon Time Sun

When you have to do errands with a senior in your life, try to schedule appointments before ten or in the late afternoon. Going out in the direct noon time sun can be too much for some seniors, especially when the weather has been hot for a number of days. If you must go out to do errands, bring a hat, plenty of water, and look for signs of overheating. Look for spaces that are air conditioned and spend some time in the cool air.

Take Your Time

If the weather is hot and humid, it’s time to slow down. Do minimal errands or chores around the house. Plan ahead for any outings and leave extra early so that you aren’t trying to rush around. If you are looking for an activity to enjoy, heading out to the movies is a great idea in the hot weather. If the heat index is too high, spending time at the beach may be too much for a senior who is medically fragile. While an individual may be able to go out to a lake or beach, getting back after sun exposure and exhaustion may be difficult.

Always Check for Warning Signs

Even a healthy individual can exhibit heat-related symptoms when the weather is too hot and humid. Difficulty breathing, nausea, headaches, dizziness, reported chest pain, or fainting can all mean that a person is overheated and suffering from some type of heat related illness. If symptoms occur, it’s time to assess the situation. While mild symptoms may be relieved by finding a cool drink of water and an air-conditioned place to sit, symptoms that are severe will require immediate medical attention.

Protection, Hydration and Support in the Hot Weather

In the hot weather, protection, hydration, and support are the keys to providing quality senior in home care. Look for activities that are easy, such as going to the movies, making a craft, or playing cards. If you must go out, try earlier in the day. Pay attention to the clothing worn by a senior receiving care and look for ways to minimize overheating. If symptoms begin to occur, know who to call in the event of an emergency. While it is possible to still enjoy the hot summer months, it is smart to take precaution.

If you have a loved one that needs senior in home care, it’s time to call Fairfield Family Care serving Stamford, Connecticut and the surrounding area at 203-349-3065. Set up a free initial consultation for elderly care services by making a call or filling out the online form.

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