The summer is most definitely here! In the City of Toronto, the temperatures have been hovering around the 30 degrees Celcius mark, as of late. As a result, many Torontonians have been complaining about the heat. Others just love it. In fact, some are so adamant about not complaining about the heat for fear Mother Nature will punish us with a longer winter! Senior citizens, however, have every right to complain about the heat if they wish to.
For older adults, heat stroke is a genuine concern during the summer. It occurs when the body can no longer manage its temperature – generally around 40 degrees Celcius. Keeping your elderly loved one as cool as can be, therefore, is of paramount importance this summer.
Here are three ways to safeguard seniors from the sweltering summer heat:
1. Make air conditioning your friend.
This is a tip you don’t likely need given to you. Chances are you’ve already had the AC cranked for the past week or two. If you have a senior citizen living in your home, it’s important to keep the air conditioner running regularly. Be careful not to make it too chilly though. Extreme temperatures of either the hot or cold variety aren’t beneficial to the health of an older person.
“Spend as much time as possible in air-conditioned spaces,” recommends HealthInAging.org, “If you don’t have an air conditioner, go somewhere that is air-conditioned. For example, read a book at the library, walk around in indoor malls…or meet your friends at the senior centre.”
2. Keep cool treats within reach.
It should probably go without saying that staying hydrated is a vital step in avoiding heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Drinking water is absolutely mandatory all summer long – no matter your age. Clear juices are also acceptable ways to beat the heat and stay hydrated. On AgingCare.com, June Fletcher also promotes the concept of keeping cool and nutritious treats nearby at all times.
“Keep cool treats available that are low in sugar and have a high water content,” she encourages, “Sugar-free popsicles are a classic and you can make your own using juice. Fruits and vegetables that are high in water, like watermelon, cucumbers, celery, strawberries and bell peppers, are also an easy way to increase a loved one’s fluid intake without getting them to drink more.”
3. Dress light and not too tight.
Many seniors already enjoy wearing loose-fitting clothing. During the summer, this is certainly a wise choice. Especially on particularly hot days, you want to ensure that your elderly loved one is as cool and comfortable as possible. According to Merritt Whitley on APlaceForMom.com, the best clothing and accessories for summer include light-coloured clothes, lightweight fabrics, loose-fitting clothes, hats and sunglasses.
“It’s important to choose your clothing carefully when it’s hot outside,” she writes, “This seemingly small decision can make a huge difference. Your clothes and even accessories like umbrellas can help you prevent sunburns and heat exhaustion by staying cooler.”
At LifeCare Mobility Solutions, we’d love nothing more than to do our part in making your elderly loved one comfortable all summer long. If you have any questions about our mobility solutions and home healthcare products, please don’t hesitate to call us at 416-267-9800 or email us at [email protected]. You may also contact us by filling out the form on our Contact page!