Summer is approaching and it is time to spend time with our loved ones and enjoy relaxing in the great outdoors (when it decides to creep out from behind the clouds). However, when spending time with our elderly loved ones in the sun, it’s important that they take precautionsas the heat can be dangerous for them. We can help them to make these precautions, and if your elderly loved one lives in a retirement village such as Extra Care, we can make sure that their caregivers are helping them stick to this advice too.
If your elderly relative has a chronic medical condition, even a small increase in temperature can shorten their life expectancy. Therefore it is important that they stay in cool spaces. Make sure their homes are air conditioned. If you are out and about with them, for example having a picnic at the park, look for a shaded area.
Protect Your Eyes
Advise elderly loved ones to wear sunglasses to protect their eyes from harmful UV rays. Vision loss can be common in the elderly and too much exposure from the sun can irritate eyes, causing further damage.
The elderly get dehydrated quicker than younger people, because as they get older they lose the ability to conserve the water as well. They cannot always be aware of their thirst, so remind them to drink water often and ask them to carry a bottle of water on them when they are out in the sun. Advise them to keep a glass of water on their bed side too, in case they wake up in the middle of night feeling thirsty.
Dress for the Weather
On hotter days, advise your loved one to wear natural fabrics such as cotton. They tend to be much cooler than synthetic fibres. It is important that your elderly relative is comfortable in the hotter weather, so suggest that they wear lighter colours and loose-fitting clothing.
Keep In Contact With Loved Ones
Make sure they have a list of numbers to contact for when they aren’t feeling well. For example your own, the doctors, advice lines etc. If they are feeling unwell, a call could prevent further issues and medical problems if it is noticed and dealt with early.
If your loved one is capable, get them doing regular exercise to keep them fit and healthy. Make sure they wear the appropriate clothing so they don’t get too hot. Always advise them to keep an eye on how much exercise they are doing in the outdoors as they don’t want to spend too much time in the sun and they might get dehydrated if they don’t drink enough water. The best time to exercise is earlier in the morning or in the evening when the sun isn’t as hot as it would be during the day.