Soaring summertime temperatures can be dangerous for everyone without proper precautions, but for senior citizens, the risk can be multiplied due to certain medications, health conditions, and other age-related changes. Seniors are much more likely to develop heat-related illnesses like heat stroke or heat exhaustion.
If you have older friends, neighbors or family members, here are few tips that can help ensure everyone has a safe, healthy and fun summer.
Visit Frequently – On hot days, try to stop in at least twice a day to check for any signs of heat-related illness. For more information about the signs and symptoms of these conditions, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.
Encourage “KOOL” Practices:
- Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of cool, non-alcoholic, decaffeinated beverages
- Outfit appropriately and wear light-colored, lightweight and loose-fitting clothing
- Only spend time outdoors during cooler morning and evening hours to avoid high heat periods
- Laze about – it’s important to relax and avoid strenuous activity on extremely hot days
Offer a Ride – If an older family member or neighbor doesn’t have air conditioning at home, take them to a location that does, including the mall, movie theater or community center.\
Or a Helping Hand – Since it’s a good idea for older adults to stay indoors on hot days, pitch in with errands or few outdoor chores to help them avoid high temperatures (but make sure you take precautions to keep yourself safe as well!).
Summertime can be fun for everyone—just be sure to take measures to stay safe in the heat!
For Health Advocate Members
If you’re a Health Advocate member with access to the EAP+Work/Life program, visit your online portal for more information about caring for older friends and family members, or contact a Work/Life specialist for help finding eldercare services and resources in your area.