Spring might not have sprung quite yet, but it is important to start thinking about elderly care issues that arise during the spring and summer months. One of the most important elements of elderly health care is being able to recognize certain illnesses and issues so that they can be addressed promptly. When it comes to the warmer months of the year, being able to recognize and address heat related illnesses among aging adults is critical to protecting their health and well-being. Seniors are much more susceptible to heat than younger people because as we age, our bodies lose the ability to properly regulate temperature. This means that when an aging adult is exposed to heat he will not only get hot much faster than others, but will also have a much more difficult time cooling off than younger people. Heat related illness can become very serious very quickly, and even lead to life-threatening situations.
If you are not with your aging loved one during the hot months of the year, make sure that you frequently check in on him to ensure that he is safe and healthy. If he does not have access to air-conditioning in his own home, research the area to find senior cooling centers that are often offered during the hottest days of the year. Also make sure that your aging loved one has plenty of cool water and electrolyte beverages readily available. During the hotter days, the need for hydration is increased, and is critical that seniors drink plenty throughout the day in order to protect them.
Look for the following symptoms that may indicate that your aging loved one is suffering from heat related illness:
- Confusion or disorientation
- Dizziness or fainting
- Increased heart rate or difficulty calming the heart rate
- Nausea or vomiting
- Muscle spasms or stiffness
- Lack of sweat.
It is also important to recognize that overheating can aggravate a variety of medical conditions that are common in seniors. Before the hot weather really hits, inquire with your aging loved one’s elderly health care team about exaggerated health risks related to the heat and how you can monitor and address them safely.
If you or someone you know needs help with elderly care in Grand Rapids, MI contact the caregivers at Gauthier Family Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care for many disabled and elderly loved ones in our community. Call us at (616) 658-2300 for more information.
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