Extreme summer heat takes more US lives than any other weather-related disaster, with seniors more likely to be impacted than those who are younger.
Seniors’ bodies often don’t adjust to severe temperature changes as well as others.
Older adults are also more likely to have medical conditions or are on medications that limit their ability to respond to changes or affect their cooling system, perspiration.
While our senior loved ones are more likely to become disabled or even die from heat stroke, the most serious of heat-related illnesses, there are steps we can take to minimize that risk and keep them safe. That’s the topic of our feature segment in this episode of the Senior Care Corner Podcast.
Tips to Protect Senior Loved Ones from Heat Stroke
- Make sure they ride out the extreme heat in a place that is air conditioned. If that’s not their own home, it could be the home of a family member or neighbor, or a community location such as a mall, library, cooling station or special shelter from the heat.
- Drinking plenty of non-alcoholic liquids, especially water, is important. Catch Kathy’s quick tip at the end of the episode for some creative ideas.
- Check in on seniors who are aging in place at least twice each day to make sure they are safe. For family caregivers living at a distance, a Skype video call can provide the ability to visually assess their condition rather than simply taking the word of loved ones, who might hide distress in their voice to keep family from worrying.
- Establish plans for backup locations where loved ones can stay during summer power outages and for someone local who can check in on them or arrange for transportation or even emergency medical care, if needed.
We discuss those tips and more in the feature segment as well as well as steps to prepare the homes of senior loved ones to keep them more comfortable – and safer – during summer’s heat.
Senior loved ones are the focus of our attention but it’s important to keep in mind that you may have senior neighbors who don’t have others looking out for their needs. A few minutes out of your day could be the difference between life and death for them.
News Items in this Episode
- AARP and Microsoft launch a service for storing senior healthcare information online
- Hospitalization may be the “tipping point” for an Alzheimer’s patient’s decline
- Survey finds more than half of 100 year old adults are exercising nearly every day
- Nicotine patch sharpens memory in those with mild cognitive impairment
Link Mentioned in this Episode
- Results of latest survey of 100 year old adults
We hope your senior loved ones – and you – stay safe from the heat of summer. If you have other tips for doing so we’d love to hear them! Leave a comment for us at the bottom of this post on SeniorCareCorner.com or on our Facebook wall.
Podcast Transcript – so you can follow along or read at your convenience