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How To Prepare Seniors For A Safe Summer

We know. We’re barely into spring. But let’s be honest. Most Canadians are already preparing for summer. You can’t blame those of us who long for the warm and sunny days of summer throughout our usually-too-long winters. We can’t imagine we’re alone in saying that we’ve had enough of the cold. Then again, we do know that there are many Canadians who aren’t too keen on the heat.

Seniors are among those who could do without excessive heat. According to Comfort Keepers, excessive heat leads to more deaths among seniors than any other force of Mother Nature. That includes floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, lightning and earthquakes. Therefore, it should go without saying that there are important safety precautions to follow when the warm weather arrives.

Keep up with necessary medications.

Naturally, many older adults require prescription medications in order to keep their particular health conditions in check. During the summer, it’s especially important for seniors who are managing heart disease to avoid heat stress. As Comfort Keepers alerts us, seniors who manage this health issue with salt-restricted diets or medications are at high risk for heat stress.

“It is important…that older adults with heart disease not stop taking their medications or start taking salt supplements,” stresses their website, “Rather, they should speak with their doctors to come up with a plan for avoiding heat stress during the summer months.”

Participate in cool activities.

Because many seniors will be looking to beat the heat, this summer, they’ll tend to want to stay indoors. This doesn’t have to be the case. Venturing outdoors to enjoy the warmth and sunshine is still a safe choice for seniors as long as they don’t overexert themselves. A combination of light clothing and cool activities will make the summer both fun and safe.

“Don’t stay cooped up indoors, just be smart about what you do,” insists Tim Watt of Sunrise Senior Living, “Participate in cool activities this summer – pun intended. Try a water aerobics activity at the beach or pool. Just make sure you’re wearing the appropriate clothing and mind how much time you spend in the sun. And as you exert any type of energy, be sure to have a water bottle on hand.”

Look out for symptoms.

It certainly doesn’t hurt to pay close attention to the signs of heat exhaustion. If the elderly loved one in your life is experiencing headaches; heavy sweating; rapid breathing; dizziness or fainting, contact a medical professional immediately. Comfort Keepers also advises caregivers to look out for weak or rapid pulses; cold, moist skin; chills; muscle cramps; nausea and/or vomiting; and confusion.

“Families who are concerned about seniors living alone can hire professional caregivers to help the senior,” they advise, “Caregivers can not only assist seniors with daily tasks, meal preparation, and transportation but also be the eyes and ears for the family, noticing if something is not right and if the senior may need medical help.”

The LifeCare Mobility Solutions team is committed to helping seniors enjoy the upcoming summer. 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 info@lifecaremobility.ca. You may also contact us by filling out the form on our Contact page!

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