Although summertime is typically associated with lots of high-energy, outdoor activities, seniors have to be extra careful during the warmest months of the year in order to avoid problems like heat stroke, severe dehydration and skin damage. Fortunately, there are eight simple ways for seniors in Tampa to beat the heat.
1. Prepare Meals in Advance
Seniors and their hourly or live-in Tampa caregivers should avoid cooking meals during the hottest portion of the day. This will limit the amount of work that home cooling systems have to do in order to maintain comfortable temperatures indoors. Instead, prepare several days or a week’s worth of meals in advance and store these in the refrigerator or freezer.
2. Check Prescription Warnings
It is important to learn more about the different ways prescription drugs will impact a senior’s ability to weather sunlight and heat extremes. Family caregivers should talk with the doctors or pharmacists of their senior loved one to learn whether or not any changes need to be made to the dosing schedule or daily activities once the temperatures start to rise.
3. Have a Back-Up Plan for Home Cooling Systems
It is important to ensure that seniors always have access to working, indoor cooling systems. Tampa Home Care Assistance recommends all aging adults have feasible back-up plans in place in case their home cooling systems malfunction. This can include the use of high-powered indoor fans or plans to immediately move older adults to a cooler location until HVAC repairs can be performed. During the summer months, if a senior’s sole cooling system breaks down this should always be treated as an emergency.
4. Wear Natural Fabrics
Seniors should sport loose, comfortable clothes during the summer months. It is also important for aging adults to avoid synthetic fabrics and synthetic fabric blends. These trap heat and moisture close to the skin. Conversely, natural fabrics such as linen and cotton are light and allow for plenty of airflow. Materials like these can also draw moisture away from the skin so that rashes and irritation are less likely to occur.
5. Schedule Important Activities Early On
It is important for aging adults to avoid outings during the warmest portion of the day. Temperatures are usually highest between 10am and 4pm. Appointments, shopping and other trips should be scheduled before or after this time.
6. Exercise Off-Peak
Seniors should be encouraged to remain active during the summer months in spite of temperature extremes. Taking short walks during the cool evening or morning hours is a great way to promote continued exercise, restful sleep, and a robust metabolism.
7. Increase Fruit and Vegetable Consumption
Getting sufficient water throughout the day can be difficult. For many seniors, the recommended six to eight glasses of water seems excessive. Fortunately, seniors can get a lot of the water their bodies need by simply snacking on the right foods. Eating plenty of fresh produce is a great way to keep the body hydrated throughout the summer.
8. Keep Blinds or Curtains Closed Throughout the Day
Excessive exposure to sunlight is just as much of a problem indoors as it is outdoors. Keeping window treatments closed throughout the day will help keep property interiors cool and it will also block out harmful UV rays.
To learn more about summertime senior health or for help finding cool zones for your senior loved one, reach out to a friendly Care Manager at Home Care Assistance, the leading provider of Parkinson’s, stroke, dementia, and Alzheimer’s care in Tampa. We offer reliable and experienced hourly and live-in caregivers who can prep meals for your loved one, offer exercise assistance, and provide transportation to cooler activities. Contact our office at 727-330-7862 and find out more about what a difference a caregiver can make!