With temperatures expected to continue to rise over the coming weeks, we can say that the heat is on and it’s going to be a sizzling summer.
Summer is the time for BBQ’s, relaxation and outdoor fun however extreme heat can affect our daily activities as well as being a serious risk to health and wellbeing if precautions are not taken. This is even more important when it comes to older people.
So, whether you’re an elderly person, carer or family member, make sure you or your loved ones have a fun and safe summer by following these summer tips:
- Keep out of the heat by avoiding unnecessary exposure to the sun during hot periods of the day — usually between 11am and 4pm.
- If, however you love the outdoors, make sure you keep track of time so to avoid staying outdoors for long periods. If you enjoy exercising and long walks, make sure you get these done earlier in the morning or late in the evening when the sun is not at its peak.
- Drink plenty of water to make up for fluid loss and eat more cold foods. Older people are more susceptible to dehydration than younger people because they lose their ability to conserve water as they age. They also can become less aware of their thirst and have difficulty adjusting to temperature changes.
- Dress right. For warmer weather try wearing clothes that are made of natural fabrics such as cotton, clothes that are light-coloured and loose-fitting to help feel cooler and comfortable.
- Sunscreen and hats. Everyone, young and old, should wear sunscreen when outdoors even if you plan on doing an errand using your car. Hats are also a good idea particularly for bald people or people with light-coloured hair.
- Sunglasses are a good way of lessening damage to the eye leading to vision loss which is common amongst the elderly. Wearing sunglasses can protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.
- Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure your medications won’t be affected by higher temperatures as some medications are less effective if stored at temperatures higher than room temperature.
- Stay cool by staying in the coolest parts at home and at the workplace. Older people are more disposed to the harmful effects of heat as their bodies do not adjust as well to sudden changes in temperature.
- Beware of hyperthermia. During summer, be cautious about abnormally high body temperatures. A heat stroke or hyperthermia, can be life-threatening. Here are the signs and symptoms of hyperthermia:
* body temperature greater than 40°C
* change in behaviour such as acting confused, agitated or grouchy
* dry, flushed skin
* nausea and vomiting
* heavy breathing or a rapid pulse
* not sweating even if it’s hot
- Keep in touch with your loved ones regularly.
Follow these tips and have an enjoyable and fun-filled summer irrespective of your age.
emCare offers different electronic and mobile care solutions aimed at peace of mind, accident prevention, health monitoring and maintaining one’s independence. One of the devices is a complete care system which includes a temperature sensor. This automatically alerts you or your next of kin through a mobile device when the room gets too cold or too hot. More information is available on http://bit.ly/2u7WFm5.
As an add-on to your emCare hub you can also add the heat detector, a device which automatically alerts our 24/7 call centre when there is a rapid rise in temperature.