3 Tips to Keep Elderly People Safe in a Heat Wave
Senior centers across the country have been extending their hours so older people have an air-conditioned respite from the dangerous heat. Rich Hanley, director of the Harvey County Department on Aging in Kansas, tells The Newton Kansan, “Be alert because cognitively impaired persons may not be able to tell you when they are feeling hot or ill.” Here are some of his hot-weather tips for elderly people and their caregivers, as reported in the newspaper:
- Drink plenty of fluids: Give the person plenty of water and fruit or vegetable juice even if they say they’re not thirsty. No alcohol, coffee or tea. Seek medical help if you suspect dehydration.
- Prepare light meals: Avoid hot, heavy meals and don’t use the oven.
- Monitor medications: Find out if the person’s medications increase his or her risk for heat stress. Be sure to ask a physician about all the medications being taken, including off-the-shelf items.
Among other tips, Hanley also recommends cool showers and investing in an air conditioner if the person doesn’t have one. If your elderly parent needs transportation to a senior center and he or she receives in-home-care, that agency may be able to provide transportation. You can also consider the options in these posts:
- Senior Centers Offering Rides to Doctor ‘s Appointments
- Rides for Seniors: How Your Parents Can Remain Mobile When the Car Keys Are Taken Away
- Special Taxi Service Helps Seniors Age in Place
Leigh Ann Otte is a freelance writer who specializes in health and aging issues. She covers finding and paying for senior care for OurParents. If you have any questions about this post or need help finding senior-care options for a loved one, call 1-866-483-4896 to speak with a care advisor in your area.