As spring and summer start to roll around, that means the weather is going to start getting hotter. For seniors, excessive heat can be deadly. The elderly are generally more sensitive to extreme heat than their younger counterparts. Here are a few precautions to keep in mind as you work as a caregiver to seniors in order to help them stay safe and avoid complications such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
#1 Be Mindful Of When You Take Your Clients Outside
Although it can feel great to get outside and enjoy the summer sunshine, be strategic about when you take the seniors you work with outside. Going outside during the heat of the day can easily tire your charges out. Try to arrange your schedule so that you take the seniors you work with outside during the morning and evening hours, when it is still warm outside, but not as intense as it is during the hottest part of the day.
Additionally, schedule any errands that require you to take the seniors in your care out and about for the early morning or evening time. Even though the vehicle you transport them in may be air conditioned, just going in and outside repeatedly during the heat of the day can wear down those in your care.
#2 Make Sure Your Clients Are Wearing Weather-Appropriate Clothing
When it is hot outside, make sure that the seniors in your care are wearing clothing that will keep them cool. Make sure they are wearing light-colored clothing that will reflect light away from them instead of absorbing it. Additionally, make sure that they are wearing lightweight clothing. This will allow their bodies to cool off when they get hot and sweaty.
Finally, whenever your clients go outside in the sun, even in the morning and evening hours, make sure that they put on a large-brimmed hat. This will help keep them cool.
#3 Help Your Clients Stay Well Hydrated
Many health issues in the summertime are related to dehydration. It is important to keep in mind that your clients may not be aware that they need to drink water. As one's body ages, it does not always send one the same signals to drink when the body needs water. In order to avoid health complications, it is vital that your clients are well hydrated.
You can encourage them and help them stay hydrated by always keeping a pitcher of water near your clients or a water bottle nearby. If the seniors you work with do not like regular water, add a little flavor by putting some fresh fruit in to their water. Try to avoid serving them both caffeinated and alcoholic drinks during the summer, as both types of drinks can make one dehydrated.
The key to helping the seniors you work with surviving the spring and summer is to be very aware of when you arrange for them to go outside, keeping an eye on the clothing they put on, and by keeping water near them at all times.
For caregiver resources, contact a company such as Nxt Senior and Caregiver Resources Inc.