The entire United States is preparing to experience a big heat wave this weekend, so we’ve put together some helpful tips and resources that caregivers can use to help seniors stay cool. Heat waves can pose a serious health threat to people of any age, but seniors are particularly at risk when the weather hits this type of extreme. Use these pointers to ensure you both continue to have a fun and breezy summer.
Know when to stay indoors.
While summer is a great time to get outdoors, sometimes it is best to recognize when it’s safer to stay inside. If your senior is feeling restless, try to wait until dawn or dusk, when the sun is lowest in the sky and temperatures are much more tolerable.
Invest in some affordable cooling products.
Daily Caring recently shared a list of cost-friendly products that help keep seniors stay cool in the summer. All products are under $30 and include items such as neck cooling scarfs, cooling vests, portable neck fans and more. We definitely recommend checking it out.
Make sure your emergency kit is stocked.
It’s not uncommon for heat waves to cause power outages. When this happens, you’ll want to ensure you have a good emergency kit that is fully stocked. Essential items include 1 gallon of water per person, non-perishable food, flashlight, extra batteries, medications, personal hygiene items and a first aid kit. For a full listing, check out this article from the American Red Cross.
Keep your wardrobe looking and feeling cool.
Wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing for comfort, and keep your skin covered. Try to avoid darker clothing, because they absorb more of the sun’s rays. Hats and sunglasses are also very effective for protection, and never forget sunscreen!
Hydration is key.
The most important tip of all is to stay hydrated and to constantly be drinking water, even if you’re not particularly thirsty. Keep in mind that cool water is good, but ice cold water can sometimes cause stomach cramps. During a heat wave, it’s also best to avoid caffeine, sodas, drinks with a lot of sugar and alcoholic beverages.
Good luck and stay safe, everyone! Also, be sure to keep an eye on your local weather forecast for news and updates on the temperature. This will be the best way to know when it’s safer to go back to your usual summer routines.