Summer is a wonderful time of year no matter how young or old you are, and with the long weekend just days ahead, we’re ready to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. If you’re helping your aging loved ones get outside to enjoy the season, here are a few quick safety reminders. Remember, our caregivers are also able to provide support with these important recommendations. Stay healthy, stay safe and enjoy your summer!
Heat stroke can be very serious for seniors, so make an effort to keep them cool—both indoors and outside. Encourage them to wear thin, light layers of clothing (cotton and linen are great options) that are appropriate for the season. Set the thermostat around 22-25 degree celsius (or slightly cooler, if preferred) and avoid being outdoors during peak temperatures (this is usually between 3 and 4pm, despite the common belief that noon is the hottest time of day). A wide-brimmed hat is ideal for keeping the sun off one’s face and neck while outdoors. And remember: shade is your friend!
If you’re heading outdoors with an aging loved one, bring a large bottle of water for each of you. It’s also important to stay hydrated while spending time inside—the heat may not be as much of a factor, but many seniors forget to drink water and find themselves suffering later on. In addition to drinking plenty of water and other fluids, encourage your aging loved one’s to eat foods with a higher water content such as apples, peaches, watermelon, lettuces, berries and cucumber. These foods are also packed with nutrients—and they’re delicious!—making this a win on several levels.
Many older individuals feel extra tired in the summer months, and it’s important that they listen to their bodies and rest as needed. The heat can be a lot to handle, so if you spend time outdoors or in a warm indoor location, follow that activity with some rest in a cool, comfortable area. For example, if you take your aging loved one out for a walk after breakfast, suggest that they rest with a cold glass of water afterwards. It’s the perfect time to read a book, have a snack or have a quick nap. That sounds like a lovely summer to us!