5 Summer Safety Tips to Help Mom and Dad That You Might Not Have Considered

Did you know that rising summer temperatures means rising health risks for millions of American seniors? The main reason, according to the National Institutes of Health, is that the body’s ability to respond to heat is diminished in older age. As a result, serious heat-related health concerns can arise without much warning, even for relatively healthy seniors. Taking proper safety precautions is critical, but some may not be as intuitive as you might think.

Helping a senior loved one stay cool and hydrated may seem obvious, as well as keeping their skin protected with sunscreen and proper clothing. Did you know, however, that certain lifestyle factors can also increase the potential for heat exhaustion and stroke?

A lack of reliable transportation, for example, can leave senior adults stranded in adverse temperature conditions. Not having a cell phone or the technical ability to communicate with a caregiver can be the difference between a cold glass of water and an emergency. Overdressing, a mal-adjusted thermostat, and over-heating in a crowded room are other concerns to be aware of.

Let us share a few more tips with you right here in our blog:

1. Check the Side Effects of Prescription Medications. Some medications can make Older Americans more sensitive to the sun. They can also induce dehydration if prescribed to seniors who are not drinking enough water. This is an especially elevated concern during hot summer months.

2. Protect Their Eyes. Sunburn and skin damage are well-known risks of sun exposure, but eye damage is often less understood. Wearing protective sunglasses can help prevent damage from harmful UV rays.

3. Know the Warning Signs of Heat Stroke. A change in behavior, such as acting confused or agitated; dry, flushed skin; headache, nausea and vomiting; not sweating when it’s hot. These are all telltale signs of heat exposure. If you recognize them in an aging loved one, seek medical help and get them out of the sun immediately.

4. Service the HVAC. Contact a reputable HVAC service to clean or repair a senior loved one’s home air conditioning unit. Being proactive can prevent an emergency scenario arising from a mechanical breakdown during peak summertime use.

5. Check in on the Power of Attorney. Although there is never a wrong time to check-in on estate planning such as the durable power of attorney, double check that it is created, executed, and reflects what your aging loved one needs. In a crisis, this is one of the documents you may need to be able to make decisions for an incapaciated parent.

Does this article raise more questions than it answers? There is never a wrong time to get the information you need on this or any elder care issue. Do not wait to ask us your questions right here in California

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