Stay Cool with MindMate - Heat and the Elderly
by Patrick Renner
Everybody loves the summer, but the heat can get dangerous, especially if you're older, if you don't take the necessary precautions. We gathered some tips that will keep you safe and healthy when the heatwave comes.
1. Hydration is key
As we age, we lose the ability to conserve water. This fact makes it even more important to remember to drink water as often as possible. Dehydration is dangerous and leads to many heat-related health problems.
2. Keep cool
Seniors should seek air-conditioned environments to keep them cool and avoid heat strokes. Some cities offer public cooling centers and want to avoid that especially the elderly have to sit in not air-conditioned homes.
3. Wear the right clothes
Anyone should dress appropriately when heat strikes. Some people prefer natural fabrics, and it's always good to wear light-colored, lightweight, loose-fitting outfits. PS: Don't forget the hat and some sunscreen!
4. Stay inside during mid-day
Try to avoid going out between 10 a.m. and 5 or 6 p.m. during extremely hot periods.
5. Take it easy with exercises
If you have to work out, try to do it in the early morning or late evening, and don't forget to drink even more water. Avoid exhausting exercises, especially outside, during hot days. If you do tend to go on walks or work in the garden, don't forget to dress appropriately. Also, don't spend too much time outside.
6. Check medication and speak to your doctor
Heat sensitive medication might be less effective if stored above room temperature. Be mindful of that and contact your doctor if you have any concerns.
7. Keep in contact
The heat can be dangerous, and you as a senior should let friends and family know if you are going outside for a longer amount of time. As a family member or caregiver, it is important to check on your loved one at least twice a day. If your family lives far away, try to be in touch with neighbours and check on each other.
8. Know the signs
Inform yourself about symptoms of heat-related illnesses and prepare a list of emergency contacts. These tipps are not only useful for the elderly to avoid heat strokes and stay safe, they are important for anyone! Stay cool with MindMate!