Protecting Your Aging Parent from Heat During National Sun Safety Week

June 3rd through 9th is National Sun Safety Week. When thinking about keeping your aging parents safe in the sun, it’s likely your first thoughts are about wearing sunscreen, preventing sunburns, and lowering the risk of serious issues such as skin cancer. It’s important to remember, however, that the sun also means heat, and elderly adults are more vulnerable to serious risks associated with heat. Taking steps to protect your senior from the heat can lower the risk of them experiencing serious health complications such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke, and can help them to enjoy more quality time with you and the rest of your family during warmer weather months.


Caregiver in Jenison MI: Protecting Your Senior from the Heat

Caregiver in Jenison MI: Protecting Your Senior from the Heat

Use these tips to help protect your aging parent from heat during National Sun Safety Week:

  • Keep their head cool. Most of the body’s heat is lost through the top of the head. This means protecting the top of the head can keep your parent’s temperature down, and cooling the top of the head helps to bring the temperature down. Encourage your senior to wear a hat when out in the sun, and consider adding a cooling scarf or even a damp cloth on top of their head to keep their temperature down.
  • Keep them hydrated. The body needs more water when hot, and when exposed to the drying, potentially damaging effects of the sun. Encourage your parent to sip cold water throughout the time when they are out in the sun, and when they go inside. This will help to keep their temperature down, and provide what their body needs to restore it from the exposure to the sun. This is especially important if they have experienced a sunburn.
  • Avoid tight clothing. When your parent is heading out in the heat, make sure they are not wearing body-hugging clothing. This prevents the air from circulating around the body, and traps heat against the skin. Wearing lightweight clothing that fits loosely encourages air to circulate and continuously cool the skin.


Being a family caregiver can be one of the most fulfilling and meaningful roles you have during your life. It can also be extremely challenging and stressful. You may find yourself feeling overwhelmed or as though there is more for you to do each day than you have time, energy, resources, and capabilities to handle. Fortunately, home care can help. Having an in-home care services provider with your senior on a regular basis, you can take a step back and focus on other aspects of your daily life while still knowing your senior has all of the care, support, and assistance that they need. They can step in to fill care gaps, handle potentially sensitive tasks you or your senior are not comfortable with you handling, and ensure you have more time and energy for responsibilities such as caring for your children, managing your household, maintaining your career, staying connected with your partner, and caring for yourself. Through this care, both your senior and you can enjoy higher quality of life as they age in place.

If you or someone you know needs help with caregiver services in Jenison, MI, contact Gauthier Family Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services in our community. Call us at (616) 258-2300 for more information.

About Dan Gauthier

Dan Gauthier has a long and successful business pedigree. He spent his college years working in the restaurant business and worked in various executive management positions at Universal Forest Products, Inc. over a span of 17 years, and Therm Technology / Family Safety Products for 12 years.

When the recession hit in 2008 Dan was “downsized” from UFP and spent a few years consulting for local companies Amway and Cascade Engineering. During this period Dan’s in-laws were experiencing catastrophic health problems and it required Dan’s wife Marion to focus full time on caregiving for her mother. Marion enlisted help from a local home care agency and it did not go well. This experience led to the creation of Gauthier Family Home Care, a home care agency that is uniquely holistic and family centric. Dan now works full time running GFHC.