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How to Protect Seniors from Heat Stroke This Summer

By James R. Buscemi, 9:00 am on

When it comes to summer, most people enjoy spending some time outdoors. However, the rising temperatures pose a significant risk of heat stroke for the elderly. Fortunately, North Broward elder care providers can help their loved ones stay safe during the summer months by keeping the following precautions in mind.

Monitor Medication

Some prescription medications can significantly increase a senior’s risk of heat stroke. Drugs that treat cardiovascular, metabolic and circulatory problems should not be taken in high doses prior to going outside. People who take diuretics or beta-blockers are also more susceptible to heat exhaustion and should not venture outdoors on hot summer days.

Apply Sunscreen

Sunburn can increase the risk of heat stroke especially among elderly people. Fatigue and dehydration can set in among individuals who get sunburned, even on a cloudy day. Seniors should use a good SPF 20+ sunscreen and reapply it once for each hour spent in direct sunlight.

Push Fluids

Hydration is the key to preventing heat stroke during the summer season. On a hot day, the body can lose a large volume of fluids and electrolytes even without engaging in any strenuous activities. Water alone might not be adequate to hydrate the body on a scorching afternoon. It’s important to restore minerals such as potassium, magnesium and sodium. Such hydrating nutrients are typically found in sports drinks and fresh fruit such as oranges and bananas.

Check Weather Forecast

Before seniors plan to go outside in the summer, it’s important to monitor the heat index. This parameter accounts for the humidity levels in the air. A combination of high temperatures and humidity levels can be extremely dangerous for senior citizens who already have problems with mobility or require North Broward stroke care. A high UV index also indicates an increased risk of sunburn even after a short time period spent outside.

Stay Cool

Whether they’re at the swimming pool or park, senior citizens should always seek effective ways to stay cool on a summer day. These locations typically have plenty of shaded areas that can be significantly cooler compared to spots that are exposed to direct sunlight. In addition to seeking shade, seniors can cool off by enjoying their favorite ice cream, smoothie and other frozen treat.

While you may not always be able to accompany your loved one on summer outings, you can rely on Home Care Assistance to look after your elderly family member. We provide comprehensive respite care in North Broward that enables family caregivers to take care of other matters while knowing that their loved ones are in good hands. Call us today at 954-906-5161 to learn more about our respite care and how your loved one will benefit from it.

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