Protecting Your Loved One From Heat Dangers | Executive Care of Northern Virginia
There’s nothing better than enjoying some quality outdoors time during the summer, no matter your age.
While there are plenty of benefits to spending time outdoors for seniors, it’s vital to take precautions so the heat does not turn dangerous for your aging loved one.
There can be changes in physiology that result in seniors being more sensitive to the dangers of heat. Not only are they unable to adjust as well to sudden changes in temperature, but they often have chronic medical conditions that make it difficult to respond well to heat. Certain medications can also hinder the body’s capability to control temperature or sweat.
The Dangers of Heat
Heat-related illnesses, which fall under the umbrella term “hyperthermia,” can pose quite a serious and even deadly threat to older individuals. These illnesses can include:
- Heat stroke
- Heat edema
- Heat exhaustion
- Heat syncope
- Heat cramps
There are other health-related factors that may increase the risk of hyperthermia, which is why it’s smart to know them beforehand. You never know, that information could prove to be a lifesaver. These health factors include:
- Age-related changes like poor circulation and inefficient sweat glands
- High blood pressure or other issues that call for salt-restricted diets
- Being over- or underweight
- Reduced sweating due to medication use
Making Sure Your Loved One Is Protected
It doesn’t have to be difficult protecting older adults from the heat this summer.
The main ways to protect older adults from the heat include making sure they are staying hydrated and cool.
It could be advisable for their water intake to increase during the summer months, and make sure they are not waiting until thirsty to drink. Take precautions, though, because if they have fluid limitations or are taking medications such as water pills, it is best to consult with a doctor regarding how much is acceptable to drink.
Other steps you can take include spending more time indoors during the hottest hours of the day, which are typically between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., and not relying solely on a fan to cool the home.
Taking these steps can help ensure your loved one enjoys a happy, healthy and safe summer.
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.