For our caregivers in Peoria, Glendale and Phoenix Arizona it is no surprise that it’s hot, after all we are in the Valley of the Sun. But as our caregivers are providing affordable in home care for seniors not all that care is always in the home.
Many times our caregivers take clients to doctor’s appointments, church functions or just shopping and when we are out of the home and in possibly unfamiliar surroundings we always remind our caregivers to be mindful of environmental conditions that might lead to a heat related event that could cause a fall.
This is a short list of what our caregivers remind our clients of prior to a summertime excursion:
Drink plenty of water prior to the outing.
Apply sunscreen to all exposed skin, at least SPF 50 or higher.
Wear a broad brim hat and loose, light colored clothing.
Limit the time you are in direct sunlight.
Try not to be out in the hottest part of the day.
When walking to the car, don’t touch it…IT’S HOT!
Some of the signs for heat exhaustion are:
Quick onset of headaches.
Rapid and shallow breathing
Flushed face and moist skin
It’s best to treat for heat exhaustion by cooling the body slowly, getting into a cooler environment and wrap a cool wet towel around the neck.
Some signs of heat stroke are:
Altered mental status and confusion
Very hot skin
Very rapid and shallow breathing
Treatment for heat stroke will be to remove the person to a cooler environment and use ice packs wrapped in a cloth and place them around the neck , ankles and wrists. It is important to note that heat stroke is a serious medical emergency and the caregiver should call 911 if a heat stroke is suspected. It also should be mentioned that for non-medical personnel the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke could be unrecognizable and that a call to 911 should be placed.
Heat related events don’t always occur outside. Our elders don’t feel the heat and cold the way younger folks do and many times they will not turn on the AC trying to save on utility expenses. Then they become overheated and under hydrated which could lead to dizziness and a fall.
It is important to keep an eye on our loved ones during the summer. Just a short phone call can give the family caregiver peace of mind and the senior a feeling of still be connected to the world.
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It has been wonderful to have the "angels" come in and take my mom out to lunch and other activities. My mom enjoys Patty and Maria and loves that they take her to do the things she enjoys, keeps her active and engaged. — Barbara, Arizona