7 Tips to Help Seniors Stay Safe this Summer

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7 Tips to Help Seniors Stay Safe This Summer

Now that the summer of 2018 is in full swing, it's important to remember the unique threats and challenges that summer - and especially summertime temperatures in Roanoke, VA - face our seniors. We put together a few tips to remind people of things to watch out for. 

1. Stay hydrated.

This is the single most important piece of advice regarding staying healthy and safe during summer months. We're all aware of the suggested 6-8 cups of water per day, but in summer months, you or your loved one may require much more. Remind the senior in your life to drink water often. Sometimes it can be helpful to provide your elderly loved one with small bottles of water in the refrigerator, which makes it easy for them to consume and makes it easier for you (or their home health care provider) to monitor their water intake.

2. Use the air conditioning.

It sounds simple and obvious, but we included this one to remind people to check on their elderly friends and relatives to make sure their air conditioning and fans are properly functioning. Also even if you find these devices to be functioning properly, it's important to check the thermostat and settings, particularly when the person is suffering from Alzheimer's disease and dementia. If you know a senior who cannot afford to run their air conditioner or does not have one, there is assistance available federally via the Low Income Home Energy Assitance Program (LIHEAP) and in Roanoke, VA locally via the Roanoke League of Older Americans (LOA).

3. Know the early warning signs of heat stroke.

A headache, confusion, dizziness, or nausea could be a sign of a heat-related illness. To avoid a heat stroke, get out of the sun and lie down in a cool place as soon as possible, drink fluids but not alcohol or caffeine, shower or bath with cool water, and seek emergency medical attention if the symptoms persist as this condition could be life-threatening.

4. Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.

The average temperature in Roanoke, VA in July is a scorching 88°F with daily temperatures in the mid-nineties and beyond. Be mindful of the humidity, as high humidity can make the heat even more dangerous for seniors and elderly people.

5. Communicate with care providers.

If your elderly relative is receiving home care, be sure to communicate with your home care provider about any special situations regarding your loved one, and to ensure that all precautions are being taken regarding their safety. Your caregiver could be the one to save your loved one's life in the event of a heat-related medical emergency.

6. Consider the side effects of prescription medications.

Some medications cause increased sensitivity to the sun, meaning seniors need to be extra careful with sun exposure while taking them, especially during summer months. Check the labels on yours or your loved one's medications and heed any warnings regarding sun and heat exposure.

7. Don't forget the shades.

Many seniors already suffer from partial blindness or compromised vision. Bright sunlight can worsen these issues. Be sure your loved one has a good pair of sunglasses to wear when going outside. There are many prescription models and sunglasses that work with normal prescription glasses available.

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Companion Home Care Inc
424 Campbell Ave SW
Roanoke, VA 24016
(540) 981-2255

About Companion Home Care Inc: 

Companion Home Care is a senior home health care, adult care, and child care provider based in Roanoke, VA. Our motto is to provide a "better class of companion for a better quality of life". We accomplish this by hiring the best, most qualified caregivers, and using our knowledge and experience to craft a personalized home care plan for our clients, then match clients with the perfect caregiver based on client needs, personality, and skills required.

Our caregivers help seniors age gracefully, cope with Alzheimer's, dementia, and illnesses, and enjoy healthy and happy lives from the comfort of their own homes. In addition to senior home health care, we also provide home care for adults and children with disabilities, traumatic brain injury and diseases, physical injuries, and special needs in Roanoke, Salem, Vinton, Christiansburg, Blacksburg, Smith Mountain Lake, Moneta, Bedford, and surrounding areas of southwest Virginia.