Elder Care in the Summer: Avoiding Heat Stroke for Seniors

Elder Care in the Summer: Avoiding Heat Stroke for Seniors

Summer’s here, and for elder care providers – and the seniors they care for – that means warm weather, fun, and sunshine. But as we all know, sometimes too much sun is bad for us. This is especially true for seniors, who are more prone to heat stroke and other kinds of heat illness than the rest of us. Elder Care in the Summer: Avoiding Heat Stroke for Seniors

“Heat stroke is something we take very seriously at Visiting Angels,” says Larry Meigs, CEO and president of Visiting Angels, a nationwide elder care agency. “Our elder care providers are trained in how to prevent and respond to heat stroke, and we encourage our clients and their families to educate themselves on how heat can affect seniors.”

You can be prepared this summer by reading up on how to prevent and treat heat stroke in your aging loved one.

How Heat Affects Seniors

As we grow older, we become more prone to heat stress, heat stroke, and other heat-induced illnesses. Seniors sweat less than younger people, and their bodies store fat differently, making it harder for the body to regulate its own temperature. This means that as an elder care provider for an aging parent or relative, you should be on the lookout for signs of heat stress when your loved one is exposed to hot temperatures.

Heat stress can be expressed in a number of symptoms, including high body temperature, sweating, headache, weakness, muscle cramps, dizziness, and/or tiredness. In more severe cases, the person may feel nauseous, experience vomiting or faint.

Treating Heat Stress as an Elder Care Provider

If you believe your loved one is experiencing heat stress, it’s important that you respond quickly.

In cases of extreme heat stress (temperature above 103 F):

  • Have someone call for emergency medical assistance
  • Immediately move the person to a cooler area
  • Cool the person as quickly as possible; you may wish to immerse them in a tub of cold water, run cold water from the garden hose over them, or sponge them with ice water
  • Cooling efforts should continue until their body temperature drops to between 101 and 103 F
  • Detail all circumstances of their condition to medical professionals when they arrive

In cases of moderate or mild heat stress (temperature between 100 and 102 F):

  • Move the person to a cool shady area, preferably somewhere with air conditioning
  • Have them rest and drink plenty of water
  • Monitor their temperature to make sure it does not rise beyond 103 F

Preventing Heat Stress as an Elder Care Provider

There are a number of ways that you help prevent heat stress as an elder care provider for an aging loved one.

  • Have your loved one wear light clothing when it’s hot out
  • Encourage your loved one to stay indoors on hot days
  • Make sure your loved one has somewhere air conditioned where they can spend hot days
  • Keep your loved one well hydrated
  • Check on your loved one twice daily during hot days

If you feel you need assistance with monitoring your loved one, you may wish to consider in-home elder care from Visiting Angels. Our professional elder care providers help prevent heat stress in the seniors they care for and offer a number of other support services to help keep your loved one healthy and safe. Elder Care in the Summer: Avoiding Heat Stroke for Seniors

Elder Care in the Summer: Avoiding Heat Stroke for Seniors

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RichardBitner

Visiting Angels is a national, private duty network of senior care agencies. We are proud to be the nation’s leading provider of non-medical at home care services. With our elder care services, seniors can remain independent and live safely at home. Our senior care services include Social Care, Dementia Care, Alzheimer’s Care, End of Life Care, Companion Care, Private Duty Care, care to prevent hospital readmission, and so much more.

Compassionate, dignified at home senior care is close to home when you connect with your local Visiting Angels office by calling 800-365-4189.

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