Heat Awareness Day
May 13, 2016
Elder Care in Squirrel Hill PA
May 27 is Heat Awareness Day. This is the perfect opportunity for you to learn more about heat and how you can improve your elder care efforts to ensure that your parent stays healthy and safe as the weather warms up this late spring and summer. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to the heat, which means that it is important you make special plans and put steps in place to ensure that your loved one does not experience illness or injury associated with high temperatures this season.
Use these tips to help keep your parent safe and healthy on Heat Awareness Day and throughout the rest of the spring and summer months:
- Be aware of the dangers. It is important to understand the health complications that can arise due to high temperatures. When the weather grows hot your parent is at increased risk of dehydration as well as heat-related illnesses including heat cramps, heat stroke, and heat exhaustion. These can have severe consequences if not managed properly. Understanding the risks of these illnesses and how you can detect them enable you to properly respond if your parent begins to suffer such an illness.
- Prevent dehydration. Ensuring that your parent gets enough fluid is critical any time of year, but the amount of water that your parent needs increases dramatically during the hot weather. Higher temperatures require your body to use more fluids to keep its temperature down and to maintain proper function. It is important to remember that many seniors do not feel thirst signals like they did when they were younger. This can mean that they do drink as much as they need and are at increased risk of dehydration. The more dehydrated they get, the higher the risk of serious health complications.
- Ensure a cool environment. Indoor temperatures can soar quickly even if the temperatures outside do not seem excessive. If your parent does not have an adequate air conditioning system in their home, they may experience health complications due to continuous exposure to heat. Have a professional check the cooling system to ensure that it works properly or install an additional system. If this is not possible, look for cooling centers throughout the community to allow those vulnerable to high heat to come and stay cool during the hottest times of the day.
- Create a care network. Even seniors who are not in need of ongoing care and assistance during the day may need additional care when the weather gets hot. Create a care network of people who can help you to keep an eye on your parent. Friends, family members, neighbors, and an elderly health care services provider can be invaluable in coming to the home, checking on your parent’s condition, and making sure that they get what they need to stay cool, comfortable, and healthy.
- Encourage cool activities. When it is hot out it is important that you use caution when encouraging physical activity for your aging parent. Participate in activities that still keep your parent active and engaged, but also keep them cool. Swimming, water aerobics, and indoor versions of activities such as walking, tennis, and others are ideal.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Squirrel Hill, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Liken Home Care. Call (412) 693-6820 or (855) 856-0551