The official start of summer is just about a month away, which makes now the perfect time to brush up on summertime safety tips for seniors.

Summertime Safety

Before taking a deeper look, here is a brief rundown of some important summertime safety tips for seniors:

  1. Keep cool.
  2. Wear sunglasses.
  3. Stay hydrated.
  4. Use bug spray.
  5. Take breaks during physical activity.
  6. Avoid being outside on extremely hot days.

It is regularly suggested that six to eight cups of water be drunk daily, but if your loved one plans to be out in the sun and heat for extended periods of time, it is best he or she ups the water intake. Low- and no-calorie sports drinks and juices are also ideal beverages for seniors, while soda, coffee and alcohol are not recommended.

Make sure the air conditioning is working properly in your loved one’s home. Air conditioning can be a lifesaver, especially on 80+ degree days. If your loved one does not have A/C, it may be wise to put in a window unit or find activities in the area that take place inside air-conditioned buildings.

Be sure to review the weather forecast, as it’s always best to know what to expect for the day. This way seniors will know what to wear and what to take with them when venturing out.

Dangers of Hot Weather

Summertime temperatures can be extremely dangerous, with close to 200 Americans dying of health problems caused by high heat and humidity. Unfortunately, most of those individuals are over the age of 50.

Seniors can be more susceptible to the dangers brought on by high temperatures. The reasons for this can include aging-related physical changes in the body, chronic health conditions and some side effects of some medications.

Some common issues that accompany high temperatures include:

  • Heat exhaustion
  • Dehydration
  • Heat syncope
  • Heat stroke

Review the signs and symptoms of these various heat-related health issues, as it could prove to be a lifesaver in extreme situations. While many heat-related illnesses can be taken care of at home, there are some cases where hospitalization may be required.

The in-home care services provided by Executive Care of Northern Virginia can work alongside you to ensure your loved one is leading a happy and healthy life throughout the summer and whole year! Contact us today to learn more about the help we can provide.

An ideal scenario for most seniors would be to remain at home as they age, but without proper safety precautions, it can be difficult for that to become a reality for them.

By identifying and remedying safety hazards that may be present, you can help make sure your aging loved one is able to safely stay in his or her own home.

Looking for Safety Hazards

There are certain areas of the home you’ll want to pay more attention to. Those are the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen as these areas can contain the highest risk for falls and fires, which are two very serious safety hazards for seniors.

One of the greatest safety risks for seniors is falling. In fact, one in four adults over age 65 suffer from falls each year. To help eliminate the risk of falls for your aging loved one, you can do the following:

  • Get rid of throw rugs
  • Make sure laundry facilities are on the first floor
  • Remove wheels on chairs
  • Keep steps clear of clutter
  • Apply non-slip wax to floors
  • Add a hall railing
  • Add a raised toilet and grab bars
  • Use rubber-backed bath mats
  • Repair loose carpeting or raised areas of flooring

Make sure that your loved one has not plugged too many electrical cords into one socket or extension cord, and check out all appliances and other electrical items in the home. Are they in good working condition and are their electrical cords undamaged?

Identify, with your loved one, ways to exit the home in case of a fire, making sure there are at least two ways to get out. Make sure the batteries in the smoke detector are being changed and tested regularly as well.

Water temperature in the bathroom is another hazard so it is wise to adjust the thermostat on the water heater for a temperature no higher than 120 degrees. There are also anti-scalding devices available that can be installed in sinks, tubs and showers that will recognize when the water is too hot and stop the flow.

Quick Safety Tips

Being prepared for many possible scenarios can help bolster your loved one’s safety.

There should be a list of emergency numbers kept by each phone or added to a cell phone contact list. Those numbers should include:

  • 911
  • Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222
  • Family members or friends to call in case of emergency
  • Healthcare provider’s office

Do what you can to make sure his or her home address is clearly visible from the street. You can install larger house numbers in metal or stickers to make them more visible and could also spray paint the house numbers on the street curb.

There can be many safety concerns for seniors living alone at home, but fortunately, we’re here to help address some of those concerns. Executive Care of Northern Virginia provides a full range of in-home care services that can make life easier and safer for your aging loved one.

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I’d like to convey to you how wonderful the aide Afia is for my mother’s care. She has been with her since last January and has become more than just a caregiver. She truly “cares” and is skillful in her abilities. My mom has had several health situations and her current health has improved to the best she has been in several years. Both her doctor and my family attribute a large part of that to Afia’s care. She is diligent about her diet and sleep patterns, and her “toileting” issues. All of this has contributed greatly to my mom’s overall improved health and her peace of mind as well as our family’s peace of mind. We cannot say enough about her. We are also very satisfied with Executive Care all the way around, from the billing department and everyone we speak with on the phone, very courteous and professional.
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