Seniors are especially at risk in high heat situations. Large stretches of the USA, including Indiana, are experiencing extreme temperatures at the moment. Care-givers, including churches, need to check on the elderly. If you live in another city, call the police department, or someone you know, to check on your loved one.
Does an elderly person live in your neighborhood? Go knock on the door and ask how things are going. Do NOT accept the first answer. We all want to say, "OH, I'm ok, don't worry." The person may not realize they are suffering from heat exhaustion. Invite them into air conditioning, offer to take them to an air conditioned mall or other building. Sit in a hospital waiting room. Anything to get out of the heat for a while. Ask a senior to become an overnight guest.
Top ten tips on keeping seniors safe in summer heat
From Living Independently Group
- Drink plenty of liquids – eight or more 8-ounce glasses per day and or fruit juices – every day to stay hydrated.
- Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages.
- Dress appropriately. Wear loose-fitting clothes in natural fabrics like cotton and dress in light colors that will reflect the sun and heat instead of darker colors that will attract them.
- When outdoors, protect your skin from damage by wearing hats, sunglasses and a sunscreen of 30 SPF or more.
- Stay indoors during extreme heat.
- If you do not have air conditioning in your apartment, go somewhere that does. A movie theater, the mall, a friend or relative's home or a community senior center are all good options.
- If you need to get out of the house and don't drive a car, call a taxi, a friend or a transportation service. Do NOT wait outside for the bus in extreme heat.
- If you are absolutely unable to leave the house and do not have air conditioning, take a cool bath or shower to lower your body temperature on extremely hot days.
- Temperatures inside the home should not exceed 85 degrees Fahrenheit for prolonged periods of time.
- Know the signs of heat stroke (e.g. flushed face, high body temperature, headache, nausea, rapid pulse, dizziness and confusion) and take immediate action if you feel them coming on.
– adapted from SeniorArk.com