Staying Cool: Summer Tips for Seniors and Caregivers

Jun 18, 2014

EasyLiving is here to help our senior clients stay safe and healthy (and cool!) this summer. Our senior home caregivers offer all kinds of great ideas for senior-friendly indoor activities and fun ways to stay active this summer. We also offer hurricane season planning services and senior concierge services to assist with elders’ travel plans.

seniors and summer safety

Staying Hydrated

Dehydration is one of the top 10 causes of Medicare hospitalizations. Evidence shows that aging causes changes in body water composition, and renal function and thirst perception on average decline among older adults

The best medicine is preventing dehydration by ensuring adequate liquid intake, since the person may not have that thirst perception and other signs may come when there’s already a significant impact on the body. Signs of dehydration include: confusion, problems with walking or falling, dizziness or headaches, dry or sticky mouth and tongue, sunken eyes, inability to sweat or produce tears, rapid heart rate, low blood pressure or blood pressure that drops when changing from lying to standing, constipation and decreased urine output. A good test is to check for a decrease in skin recoil time: pull up the skin on the back of the hand for a few seconds and if it does not return to normal quickly, the person is dehydrated.

Caregivers play a significant role in helping prevent dehydration by prompting liquid intake and providing options. Studies have shown verbal prompting to drink between meals made a significant difference with cognitively impaired clients (and providing preferred beverages made a significant difference for non-cognitively impaired clients).

What about clients or loved ones who don’t like water? Try fruits and vegetables with a high water content (cucumber, celery, watermelon, tomatoes, lettuce/spinach). Some people enjoy flavored or sparkling water. Add some fruit slices or herbs (orange, lemon, lime, cucumber, dill, mint) to your water for a refreshing and more interesting beverage. Be careful of too many sugary drinks and be aware that caffeine and alcohol can be dehydrating because of their diuretic natures (but sometimes these beverages can still be useful, if they encourage a person to drink fluids).

Check out these great summer “mocktail” recipes for something delicious and healthy: Ayurvedic Mocktails and Five Mocktails to Keep You Cool This Summer.

Staying Active, Cool and Well-Fueled

During summer, it is essential to stay out of the main heat of the day and exercise indoors (or consider swimming or pool exercise as a great summer exercise).

Consider cool meals and foods that don’t require long hours over the stove. Salads are great for summer and you can always keep sliced chicken, tuna, nuts and beans on hand to add protein to the meal. Traditional Chinese Medicine and other long-held traditions label certain foods as “cooling” foods. Many of these are seasonal and have a high water content, so they are logically good for summer. They’re also great for seniors especially as they tend to be nutrient-rich.

Check out our great indoor activity ideas for seniors and caregivers. Stay posted for an update on some specific happenings around Tampa Bay that you might enjoy this summer!

Let our team help you stay cool and active this summer!  Give us a call at 727-447-5845!

Topics: Caregivers, Senior Health, Assisted Living, News & Local Resources

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