Safety for Senior Citizens is the Utmost Priority during Hot Summer Months
During this hot time of year senior citizens are more at risk from the sun and heat than any other time. If you are taking care of senior citizens, beware of dangers like fatigue, dehydration and too much sun. If they live alone, make sure the A/C is working properly and that food storage is in good order along with helping them with other household and daily needs.
Look in on seniors, so if any family members are unattended and need more supervision, check on them often or have a friend check on them on a fairly regular basis. Another good idea might be to check where they keep the mail to make sure they have been paying their bills.
“Seniors don’t ‘feel the heat’ the way younger people do, and so might not be as keenly aware of the risks of high temperatures. Physiologically, as we age our bodies lose some natural ability to regulate temperature changes in the environment. One such change is that the subcutaneous layer of fat beneath the skin, which acts as a natural insulation to heat and cold, dwindles. Also because seniors perspire less, it’s harder for them to keep cool which also increases their risk of becoming overheated,” (Summer Safety for Seniors: Comfort Keepers, June 2014).
“The summer is a time of year when everyone needs to keep a close eye on the sun and heat but senior citizens are especially vulnerable,” states Frank N. Darras, America’s top disability insurance lawyer. “If one of your friends or neighbors is elderly, help them take care of any outside tasks during the hottest parts of the day. This could include walking their pet or helping them with necessary errands. There are many ways you can contribute to make someone else’s life a little easier and keep them safe from dehydration or heat stroke.”
Here are some tips to follow as the weather heats up during the summer months:
- Stay cool by keeping indoors during the hottest parts of the day
- Be sure to drink water often since dehydration is common in the elderly
- Talk with your doctor to make sure your medications won’t adversely affect you during the high temperatures
- Keep in touch with friends and family so they know if you will be outside
- Wear light layers during the summer so you can stay cool outside but warm inside with the A/C
- Keep those sunglasses handy! (12 Summer Safety Tips for the Elderly, Care.com)
“I strongly urge any senior citizen to get in touch with their doctor or another qualified medical professional to ask questions about how to keep safe in the rising summer temperatures. There may be some things you are not aware of when it comes to getting older as all of us eventually do. If you have a family member or friend who might be vulnerable to summer temperatures keep in regular contact with them so you can help prevent any potentially dangerous situations,” says Darras.