The warmth of summertime can be a welcome change from winter chills for sure, but heat and humidity can also affect people negatively, ranging from mild discomfort to seriously threatening health issues. It’s important to be aware of the toll that the weather is taking on your family, especially if an older adult is a member of your household. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind this season to protect the comfort of your loved ones:
1. Stay hydrated. Even small amounts of sweating are going to reduce the moisture in a person’s system. This is a natural process, as it’s the body’s way of cooling itself down, but it’s important to drink extra water in hot temperatures. Keep in mind that caffeinated or alcoholic liquids bring on dehydration as well, and that water is always the best option for rehydration.
2. Dress for comfort. Wearing light, loose fitting clothing is ideal for elders in hot environments. Covering up is a good idea, but sweaters and heavy clothing can be too much in the summer sun. Sun hats can provide additional shade, which can make a big difference while you’re out and about.
3. Stay cool. Without air flow, rooms can become stiflingly hot and suffocating. This discomfort can lead to problems that are more serious. Air conditioning is a great way to allow your older family members to control their comfort. If your home isn’t a good match for AC, ceiling fans or portable fans placed strategically around the rooms can help, as well as taking time to visit locations with AC, like banks, libraries, movie theaters and restaurants.
4. Block heat out. Literally! Insulation works both ways – keep the cool air cool inside by using heavy drapes or shades on the windows to keep the sun out. White curtains will reflect the sun’s rays, while darker shades will absorb heat.
Make sure you are checking in with your family members about how the heat is affecting them. Sometimes people might not realize they are experiencing discomfort, because it can sneak up on them. Asking simple conversational questions about the weather can help you pick up clues about how they are really feeling. Call us today at Metropolitan Home Health Services, Inc. today with any questions or concerns you may have!