The Texas summer heat can be brutal, especially for the elderly community. The heat and humidity can make it difficult for those that are homebound to stay cool and comfortable. Caregivers of the elderly, especially those that are homebound, can take steps to ensure the comfort and safety of their loved one even during periods of intense summer heat. Here are four tips to help get you through the summer:
Tip 1: Be Sure to Keep Your Air Conditioning Running
For patients or loved ones receiving periodic care at home, it is important that their indoor temperature stay within a safe zone so that they don’t overheat. Be sure to assist in setting their thermostat to maintain a safe temperature throughout the day and night. Installing a smart thermostat that can be monitored and adjusted remotely may also be a good option.
Tip 2: Focus on Hydration
Dehydration can be really serious for those in the elderly community and can make pre-existing conditions that much more difficult to manage. In order to reduce the risk of heat related illnesses like heatstroke make sure that your loved one is drinking water throughout the day. If possible, keep a reusable water bottle readily available for them and remind them to sip frequently.
Tip 3: Avoid the Heat of the Day
Time outside can be refreshing, but during the summertime being exposed to too much heat or sunlight is dangerous. Peak hit of the day can occur between 1pm and 6pm, do your best to have your loved one avoid outside or on-the-go activities, such as appointments, during this time.
Tip 4: Know Quick Ways to Cool Down
Staying cool, even indoors, can be a challenge in the summer. Be sure that your loved one is able to wear light, breathable clothing to stay cool. If they do start to feel warm, help them to cool down with a small personal fan or a cool compress.
If your loved one is having a challenging time with the heat, be sure to follow up with their healthcare provider(s) for additional resources.