Although this year hasn’t mirrored traditional seasonal weather, intensive heat and humidity can be dangerous for older adults. Advise residents to:
- Stay hydrated. Encourage your residents to drink plenty of water. By the time someone feels thirsty, he or she is already becoming dehydrated. Dehydration is one cause of urinary tract infection.
- Avoid alcohol and sugary drinks. Flavored water is a better option. Be sure to have fruit available for snacking, but be sure to check for allergies.
- If your residents spend time outdoors during the nice weather, watch for signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. These signs include confusion, disorientation, dry skin, headache and nausea, to name a few.
- For residents who spend time outdoors, check their medications to see if the sun’s ultraviolet rays could interact with the prescription and cause unwanted side effects. And don’t forget to apply sunscreen.
- Summer means bugs, too. Mosquitoes are prevalent around standing water, so be sure to clear standing water away from walkways, patios and porches. Mosquitoes can bite at any time of day, however, so it’s important to encourage residents to apply insect repellent. Organic-based products are available, or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest using a natural repellent from the oil of lemon eucalyptus (PMD). The CDC does not recommend “pure” oil of lemon eucalyptus as a repellent.
These simple tips can help you and your residents enjoy a safe and comfortable outdoor season.