Home Care Assistance Logo

How to Prevent Heat Stroke Among Seniors This Summer

As the heat intensifies this summer, seniors become more prone to heat stroke. Here’s how Dallas at-home caregivers can prevent their loved ones from succumbing to the condition.

Manage Prescription Drugs

Certain prescription medication can increase the risk of heat stroke in elderly people. For example, diuretics are likely to cause dehydration and other symptoms that ultimately result in heat-related illness. Similarly, some antihistamines can make the body more sensitive to sun exposure and high temperatures. Live-in Dallas caregivers should monitor these medications closely and keep their loved ones in more mild temperatures after taking them.

Keep Seniors Hydrated

Regardless of age, a person who spends over an hour outside on a summer day should drink over a liter of fluids. A bottle of cold water is refreshing, but it might not replenish some essential electrolytes that are lost in sweat. Sports drinks are loaded with sodium and potassium ions that play important roles in regulating normal bodily functions. Without an adequate supply of such nutrients, an elderly person can quickly become dehydrated and tired on a hot day.

Dress Appropriately

Heat stroke occurs when a person’s body temperature rises above normal levels. Loose and lightweight clothing can keep the body cool on a typical summer day. It’s also a good idea to wear light-colored clothing for anyone who wants to spend a lot of time in direct sunlight. Dark-colored apparel tends to absorb solar radiation, which releases a lot of heat directly onto the body. Summer apparel should consist of breathable materials that wick away moisture and provide natural ventilation.

Watch the Forecast

In addition to watching the temperature, it’s also important for caregivers to consider the heat index and UV index before taking seniors outside. A high heat index indicates an increased risk of heat stroke due to humid air that makes it difficult to breathe normally. A high UV index implies that a person is likely to get sunburned even under cloud cover. Monitoring these factors will keep your loved one safe from heat stroke and sunburn.

Keep Cold Objects Handy

Even while resting in a shaded area, seniors can overheat on a scorching summer afternoon. To keep the core body temperature at safe levels, ice and other cold items should be directly applied to the skin. Elderly people can also prevent overheating by eating their favorite ice cream or drinking beverages with lots of crushed ice.

Senior safety is paramount during the summer months, though not just because of the high risk of heat stroke. Call Home Care Assistance of Dallas at (214) 216-6811 to learn more about senior safety. We are a reliable Dallas senior home care agency that customizes care plans for seniors with various requirements including Alzheimer’s, dementia, and stroke care. Schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable Care Manager today and learn how we can keep your loved one safe.

Recognizing Alcohol Dependency Among the Elderly

Many people enjoy an occasional glass of wine or beer without incident, but would you be able to recognize a drinking problem if your senior parent or family member one had one? It’s important to watch out for signs of alcohol dependency so you can address the issue with your loved one and get the necessary help. Dallas home care providers will highlight some red flags that family caregivers can watch out for.

Needs Alcohol to Stay Calm 

Have you ever heard your loved one say he or she needs a drink to calm his or her nerves? Many people say that as a joke, but if you notice your loved one using alcohol to relax, this is a sign that he or she has a dependence on alcohol. If your loved one routinely uses alcohol to calm down after something stressful has happened or needs alcohol to avoid irritability, your loved one may have a problem.

Hides Drinking Habits

If you ask your senior loved one about drinking behavior, would he or she be honest? Lying about or hiding drinking behaviors is a telltale sign your senior loved one has an alcohol dependency. If your loved one feels the need to hide his or her drinking habits, there is a problem, even if your loved one isn’t ready to admit it.

Drinks Alcohol Quickly

Generally, people enjoy most alcoholic beverages by slowing drinking over an extended period of time. Knocking back large quantities of alcohol over a short period of time suggests your senior loved one has progressed to the stage of alcoholism that demands more alcohol to achieve the desired effect.

Consumes Multiple Drinks Daily

One alcoholic drink a day – especially red wine – is fairly safe for most adults to enjoy. That said, doctors caution that drinking more than this can pose a genuine health hazard. If you notice your loved one drinking an excess of a single beverage a day, it’s time to talk to your loved one about his or her problem.

Alcoholism poses a serious risk for seniors in particular because they tend to be more susceptible to illnesses like liver disease and diabetes. Additionally, alcoholism can interfere with any medications your loved one is taking for a preexisting condition, which could exacerbate the problem. To ensure your loved one receives timely medication reminders and adopts a healthy lifestyle, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our highly trained caregivers will help your loved one maintain a balanced lifestyle using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, which revolves around healthy diet, regular exercise, and socialization. To learn more about BCM and how we can help your senior loved one, call us today at (214) 216-6811 and schedule a free consultation.