Summer will officially be here next week. For those receiving home care in Massachusetts, this can be a welcome change from the cold winter months. Just as with any season though, there are some things seniors in particular need to be cautious of. The heat is the biggest potential hazard. Some signs of dehydration may be extreme thirst, confusion, dizziness, and irritability.
The elderly are at a higher risk for dehydration and other adverse effects of heat for a variety of reasons. One is that age and existing medical conditions can alter the way the body responds to heat. Many older adults can feel chilly even on warm days, making them less prone to notice when it should be time to get out of the sun. Others can easily become overheated. Prescription medication can also hinder body temperature regulation or limit perspiration, a necessary function of the body.
Going outside in the morning, before it becomes too hot out, or waiting until after the peak hours have passed, can help to allow seniors to enjoy the nice weather while limiting risks. If possible, obtain an air conditioner if there is not already one in the home. The indoors can easily heat up to dangerous levels too. Second floors are especially likely to get too warm.
Heat related illness can be prevented by drinking plenty of non-alcoholic and caffeine-free fluids. Water is best. Consuming some sodium and potassium can help restore electrolytes. Some foods and drinks that contain electrolytes are sports drinks, fruit juices, coconut water and soups.
Summer is a time that many people take time off and head to another location. If you have a loved one that remains home, make sure he/she still has others checking in. This can be a good time of year to utilize a home care agency. MAS Home Care of Massachusetts offers health care services as well as personal care. Contact MAS Home Care of MA today for more information at 508-459-2424.