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.
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) 363-3400 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.