Summertime can be a difficult time for the elderly. The weather is hot, and they may not be able to get around as quickly as they can during other times of the year. This can lead to them becoming isolated and inactive, harming their health. In this article, we will discuss five ways that you can help keep your elderly loved ones healthy during the summer months!
Medical experts like Dr. Ryan Shelton, Zenith Labs know proper hydration is vital for everyone, but it’s especially crucial for seniors. As we age, our bodies become less efficient at regulating fluid levels, leading to dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration include fatigue, headaches, and dizziness. It can cause confusion, seizures, and even coma in severe cases. Seniors are also more susceptible to heat illnesses like heat stroke, which can be fatal.
Drinking plenty of fluids helps seniors stay cool in hot weather and prevents dehydration. Water is the best choice for staying hydrated, but juice and milk are also good options. Avoid caffeinated beverages like coffee and soda, as they can cause dehydration. And be sure to drink even when you’re not thirsty – by the time you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.
Eat Light and Healthy Meals
The elderly tend to have a decrease in appetite during the summer months. This can be due to the heat, lack of activity, or medications they may be taking. It’s essential to ensure they are still getting the nutrients they need, even if they aren’t eating as much as usual.
Focus on light and healthy meals that are easy to digest. Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals and are refreshing in hot weather. Soups and smoothies are also good options. Avoid fatty foods, as they can be hard to digest in the heat. And make sure your loved one is drinking plenty of fluids – this will help them stay hydrated and prevent constipation.
Get Enough Rest and Sleep
As we age, our bodies need more sleep to function correctly. Seniors should aim for at least seven to eight hours per night. However, many seniors have difficulty sleeping due to health conditions, medications, or simply because they can’t get comfortable in the heat.
You can do a few things to help your loved one get a good night’s sleep during the summer months. Use a fan or air conditioner to ensure their bedroom is relaxed and comfortable. Avoid giving them caffeine after lunchtime, as it can make it harder to fall asleep at night. And establish a nighttime routine that includes winding down for 30 minutes before bed. This can involve reading, calming music, or relaxation exercises.
Seniors must keep cool in hot weather to prevent dehydration and heat-related illnesses. If your loved one doesn’t have air conditioning, try using a fan or portable air conditioner in their bedroom at night. During the day, they can stay cool by spending time in shady areas and avoiding strenuous activity.
Wearing light, loose-fitting clothing made of breathable cotton can also help. And don’t forget about sunscreen! Seniors are more susceptible to sunburns and skin cancer, so applying sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher is vital before going outside.
Limit Time in the Sun
Too much sun exposure can lead to dehydration, sunburns, and heat exhaustion. Seniors should limit their time outdoors, especially during the hottest hours of the day, typically between 10 A.M. and 4 P.M.
Dr. Ryan Shelton, Zenith Labs, says it’s essential to have a plan for keeping your elderly loved ones cool and healthy during the summer months. If your loved one does need to go outside, make sure they stay in shady areas and wear a hat or visor to protect their face from the sun. They should also apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, and drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
The summer months can be a challenging time for seniors. With the hot weather, they can become dehydrated and susceptible to heat-related illnesses. Following these tips can help your elderly loved ones stay cool and healthy all summer long!