As August comes upon us, the scorching weather also comes upon us. Heat can be dangerous to those of all ages, but especially for our Senior population (as well as smaller children). I remember when I was in 4th grade, I spent an entire day out in the California sun participating in a Cartwheel Competition (I’m not sure who organized this interesting event…). After the day in the sun was over, I went back to the classroom, and I could no longer form words or sentences, or event pay attention. I went home, threw up, took a cold shower, and passed out for hours. I will never forget this experience – a classic case of heat exhaustion. I had no idea the sun could effect me in this way!

Thinking about things like hydration, shade, exercise, and air conditioning is so important to remember when reminding and helping your Seniors to care for themselves in the hotter months.

If your family member is dealing with Dementia or a memory-related condition, summer days are especially important to encourage and remind of healthy practices to stay cool.

Heat exhaustion or even a heat stroke can result in neglecting these practices, so be sure to remain conscious of these safeguards this summer!

  1. Hydration

    No matter where you live, how much time you spend outside, or even the current Season you’re experiencing: you must stay hydrated! Especially during the summer, when we sweat and are “de-hydrated” by the sun, remember to carry around a cup or water bottle, fill it up often, and track your water intake!

  2. Rest

    Spending time in the sun can drain your energy. Take regular breaks between activities, being sure to allow your body to recuperate in the way it knows best: sleep. Find a cool, dark place to take a nap from time to time, and be sure to get a good night’s sleep in these summer months.

  3. Exercise

    Be sure to keep your body active, but try more indoor activities! Stretching or yoga can be done inside and are good for keeping your muscles limber. An occasional walk around the block in the evening or a half-day at the pool with the grandkids might be doable for some – but make sure you regularly check how you are feeling and get inside when necessary. Balance is key when it comes to outdoor activity in the heat!

  4. Respite from the Heat

    Make it a point to know your options of places you can retreat to to get some Air Conditioning or just a cool setting. If you are out and about, can you pop into a store and take a seat for a moment? If at home, is there a basement room that stays cool all summer? Electric bills might go up in the summer do to AC usage, but it is well worth the cost to maintain your health and sanity!

  5. Nutrition

    Continue eating highly nutritious foods, but you don’t have to turn on the oven to do so! Eating a hot meal can raise your already high body temperature in the summer. Cook up a cool pasta salad or put together a club sandwich instead. Popsicles or frozen grapes can also make an easy, sweet and cool treat you can grab when you need an extra boost.

Following these principles can certainly alleviate many concerns regarding staying safe in the heat, but remember to consult your health professional if you have any conditions or medications that might be affected by the heat or any of these factors.

Stay cool!

 

Sources:

Top 7 Ways to Beat the Heat and Stay Cool During the Summer

 

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