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assisted living July 8, 2016

How to keep cool amid summertime heat during senior living years

By: Country Meadows | Uncategorized

After a long winter and the much-awaited arrival of spring, we begin to anticipate “those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.” But even Nat King Cole would agree that when they become the roasting, toasting days of summer, they can be unbearable.

Though everyone would be wise to exercise caution in hot, humid weather, seniors are at the greatest risk of dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Knowing the warning signs and precautions is vital, beginning with information we have prepared for you on dehydration in warm weather.

At Country Meadows Retirement Communities, we take this health concern seriously and have water stations placed in lobbies and other communal areas. In some levels of care, our staff delivers beverages to residents in their rooms every afternoon.

The symptoms of heat exhaustion, which can arise following days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate fluid intake: sweating; paleness; cramping; tiredness; weakness; dizziness; headache; nausea; fainting; cool, moist skin; fast, weak pulse; and fast, shallow breathing.

Even more serious is heat stroke, which occurs when a person’s temperature rises quickly and the body loses its ability to sweat and cool down. If not treated in time, heat stroke can lead to disability or death. Be aware of these signs and symptoms: very high body temperature (above 103 degrees F); dizziness; throbbing headache; nausea; red, hot, dry skin; and fast, strong pulse.

Country Meadows suggests checking on older relatives or friends during days of soaring temperatures and high humidity. Along with Caring.com, we advise you to make sure they:

  • Drink plenty of hydrating fluids, mainly water, and avoid dehydrating ones, primarily alcohol
  • Limit exposure to direct sun and wear hats, sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Use air conditioners or electric fans
  • Talk to their doctors about how heat may affect their medical conditions and medications
  • Dress lightly

If you observe signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke in anyone, call for emergency assistance. While you wait for help to arrive, guide the person to shade and continually refresh him all over with cool water.

Retirees living in senior communities are fortunate to have staff members and neighbors to check on their well-being on a regular basis. At Country Meadows, we prioritize the health and safety of our retirees all year long, indoors and outside. If you are considering a move to a retirement home, or are in the process of choosing a retirement community, we would like to talk with you about our services for you or your loved one.

We invite you to tour a senior living community at any of our Pennsylvania or Maryland retirement homes and step inside our retirement apartments, either in an independent living retirement community or a personal care or assisted living home. Please contact us to schedule a visit or request information.


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