Having a Heat-Smart Summer


  1. Home
  2. To Us, It's Personal Blog
  3. Having a Heat-Smart Summer


Summer can mean many fun things: longer days, family reunions, ice cream. But for older adults, it can also have its challenges. Seniors do not adjust as well as younger people to sudden changes in temperature, including transitions from summer heat to air condition. They are also likely to have a chronic medical condition or take medications that make it more difficult for their bodies to self-regulate temperature. In fact, a study from the University of Chicago Medical Center found that 40 percent of heat-related fatalities in the U.S. are among people over 65.​

In order to ensure that summer fun does not lead to illness, hospitalization or worse, it is important to take extra precautions, including:

  • Water Wise: Dehydration is a huge problem for older adults, especially in the warmer months. The general rule for everyone is eight glasses of water a day. However, because seniors may have medications or conditions that factor into dehydration, it's best to consult with a doctor about the correct amount.
  • Sun Safety: Avoiding the outdoors during the hottest times of day (typically between about 3-5 p.m.) is ideal, but anytime an older person -- or anyone else, for that matter -- is in the sun, they should be wearing proper protection including sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 – or 50 if they will be active outside; UV sunglasses, a sun hat and loose fitting, lightweight clothing.
  • Cool Air Acts: Making sure curtains or blinds are closed during the day will help keep the home cooler. Some seniors try to save money by keeping the air condition off, but we highly recommend avoiding this.
  • Watch for the Signs: During intense heat waves, it's important to monitor older adults for signs of dizziness, nausea, headache, rapid heartbeat, chest pain, fainting and breathing problems. If any of these occur, the senior should seek medical attention immediately.

For more information on the health and well-being of seniors and those who care for them, please contact us!

Comments

There are no comments on this post.
Looking for advice?

Home Instead offers free monthly newsletters with tips and advice for caregivers of elderly loved ones.

Sign up for advice

Home Instead offers free monthly newsletters with tips and advice for caregivers of elderly loved ones.

Please select at least one newsletter.
Valid email address is required
View sample
View sample
View sample