Summer is the season for fun for all ages. The kids are out of school, burgers are on the grill, everyone is heading to the beach, and families are making memories on vacation. It’s the perfect time of year to include your older loved one in some family festivities. However, before you do, it’s important to keep some senior safety tips in mind.
1. Stay Hydrated
One of the most important things you can do for your loved one during the hot summer months is make sure he or she stays hydrated. Seniors tend to become dehydrated easily throughout the year, but it’s especially important to keep an eye on it during the summer when the warmer temperatures cause people to become dehydrated quicker. Always have water on hand, as well as sports drinks and other beverages that can replenish important electrolytes.
Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. El Dorado County, CA, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
2. Avoid Excessive Sun Exposure
If you plan to take your loved one outside for activities, try to stick to the early morning hours or wait until later in the evening. Between 10am and 4pm is generally the hottest part of the day and places your loved one at a greater risk for sunburn, dehydration, and other serious heat and sun-related complications. During these midday hours, plan indoor activities like going to the movies, shopping in the mall, reading inside, or eating at a restaurant.
3. Stay Cool at Home
It’s important to make sure your loved one’s home is cool on a regular basis, which means ensuring the air conditioner works. If there is no air conditioner, consider having one installed or adding a window unit. Ceiling and floor fans may also be beneficial. Some seniors avoid turning on the air because they are afraid of higher energy bills. If this is the case, help your loved one find assistance with paying for utilities. Keeping shades and curtains closed can also keep the house cooler.
4. Eat the Right Foods
Changing your loved one’s diet for the summer can also keep him or her cool, hydrated, and healthy. Snacks like grapes, cucumbers, and watermelon can help with hydration because they are made up of mostly water, and they are nutritious as well. Opting for meals that do not require turning on the stove or oven, like salads and sandwiches, can keep the house cool.
Managing a healthy diet can be challenging for some seniors. In El Dorado County, home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
5. Dress Appropriately
Make sure your loved one has a summer-friendly wardrobe, even if it means a shopping trip before the season begins. Loose-fitting and light-colored clothing are best for being out in the sun. Encourage wearing layers so your loved one can remove jackets or shirts as he or she grows warmer when outdoors. Sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats protect the face and eyes from sun exposure. Look for sandals and other shoes that offer ventilation but do not create a tripping hazard.
6. Apply Insect Repellent
If you live in an area where mosquitoes are an issue, make sure your loved one is protected, as seniors are more susceptible to diseases mosquitoes carry, such as West Nile virus. Mosquitoes like wet areas, so make sure your loved one’s yard is free from standing water. Treat pools and ponds with the appropriate chemicals. Also, make sure your loved one has access to high-quality bug spray when heading outdoors.
Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust El Dorado County home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life. To learn more about our customized in-home care plans, call Home Care Assistance at (916) 358-3801 today.