Summer is fast approaching and so are the heat waves! If you live somewhere hot like California or Florida, then you’ve probably already heard news reports about the importance of staying cool and hydrated during the summer before. It’s easy to fall ill and get hurt during the summer as high temperatures can do crazy things to our bodies if we’re not prepared for it.
With that said, it’s important to keep our senior patients protected during the summer. They’re especially vulnerable as they are known to sweat less and take medications that interfere with the body’s ability to cope with hot weather. If you’re working in hospice care in Los Angeles or just an elderly relative, then follow these tips as a precaution!
1. Stay Hydrated
Whether you’re a kid in school or a senior in a wheelchair, drinking water is super important for a whole number of reasons! It helps regulate body temperature, prevent illnesses, flush out toxins, boost energy levels, improve sleep patterns, and so much more. Despite the number of benefits, however, a lot of people do forget to stay hydrated, especially the older generations.
Encourage at least 11.5 cups of water for women and 15.5 cups of water for men.
While this may seem difficult, you can do a couple of things to help. You can add more water-rich foods like watermelon and cucumbers into their diets. You can spice things up a little by flavoring water with fruits or having them drink carbonated water. Just make sure that you’re avoiding dehydrating foods like coffee, salty snacks, and sugary drinks too.
We also highly recommend carrying a water bottle with you at all times. This reminds them to drink water and makes water easily accessible for them.
2. Plan Indoor Activities
A great way of avoiding the scorching heat outside is to stay inside (obviously). Luckily, COVID-19 has taught us a variety of ways to keep ourselves entertained while being cooped up inside. This also makes things more inclusive for seniors who can’t really move around easily, let alone move around outside!
Here are some ideas for indoor activities:
- Learn something new. Seniors have a lot of time on their hands now that they’ve earned relaxation, so why not learn something they couldn’t learn as adults? They could learn new languages, learn how to play an instrument, learn how to make art, and so much more. There’s no age limit to learning!
- Play some puzzles. Not only does this stave off the boredom, but it also keeps the mind fresh and running. Consider playing board games like Catan, Scattergories, and Scrabble, or putting together a 1000-piece puzzle that other people can join in on.
- Spend time with others. Social media has made connecting with people so much easier, and you can easily send messages, calls, and video chat to loved ones. Either that or you can just spend some time getting to know the people around you!
3. Plan Morning or Late Afternoon Activities
Sometimes the cool, fresh air outside is just too hard to resist. If your senior patient wants some time to wiggle their toes, make sure to schedule activities for mornings or late afternoons. This way, they can enjoy the outside world without being exposed to the unforgiving sun.
You can take walks around the area, have a picnic, garden flowers and bushes, or even just do the same things you were doing indoors outdoors!
4. Wear Light, Loose Clothing
Some kinds of clothing are better than others at beating the heat. Black clothes, for example, tend to absorb heat, while white clothes let go of it easily. Additionally, clothes that cover a lot of the body like jeans, long-sleeved shirts, and closed shoes also retain a lot of heat. You should opt for something like sundresses, shorts, skirts, sandals, or any other type of loose and comfortable clothing instead.
You should also encourage your patients to wear protective garments like sunglasses and hats. This will help protect their bodies from the sun, not to mention make them look extra cool and fashionable.
5. Know All the Cool Places
If you’re planning a day out in the town, you need to be proactive. Seniors get tired and overheated pretty easily, so you need to make sure you know all the nearby places where they can take a rest and cool off. This could be a shaded park, coffee shop, or restaurant.
You could even plan out the entire day around a place that’s always cool, like a shopping mall. This ensures they’ll never have reasons to worry about the heat or overexert themselves.
Our hospice in Los Angeles has years of experience caring for elderly folk. We hope this article has been helpful and that your loved ones can safely have a blast during the summer.