Stay well hydrated — Caregivers remind seniors to drink water throughout the course of the day, even if they’re not particularly thirsty. As adults continue to age, the amount of water retained by the body decreases substantially.
Maintaining a cool environment — Caregivers close blinds and curtains keeping the house cool, even in triple digit temperatures. Caregivers also have battery operated/hand-held fans readily available to keep their seniors comfortable. Most seniors are budget-conscious, so it’s important for caregivers to be sure the AC is set to a proper, cool level and it’s working. Caregivers can also be responsible to check filters once a month.
Stay in air conditioning in the afternoon — The hottest part of the day is from 3-5 p.m. Caregivers provide inside activities like playing cards, going to movies or the mall to keep seniors active inside to avoid spending time outside during the most dangerous hours of the day.
Eat plenty, but eat light — Caregivers prepare light food because heavy foods, like meat and cheese, tend to make the body work harder to digest, using more water and generating more body heat.
Follow new sunscreen guidelines — Caregivers are well versed on the FDA’s newly released guidelines about sun protection. Seniors are more prone to sunburn because their bodies have less water. Caregivers educate seniors about these new regulations such as there’s no such thing as “sweat proof” or “water proof” sunscreen. Or that you must re-apply sunscreen every two hours for it to work.
Copies of health care information — In the event of an emergency, caregivers have on hand copies of seniors prescriptions, health insurance card, and phone numbers of health care providers.
Seniors with Dementia/Alzheimer’s
For seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s, caregivers take seniors to places or play board games, and mind games to keep them active and engaged when they’re cooped-up inside. They also help in the following ways:
Maintain self care — Dementia sufferers will often neglect hygiene and in the summer this becomes very apparent when they sweat. Caregivers gently suggest and then give sponge baths, telling the senior it’s a way to “cool down.”
Reminders to drink — Dementia sufferers often don’t recognize they’re thirsty or know to ask for a drink. Sometimes they won’t drink out of fear of incontinence. Caregivers don’t force a drink. They sit down and chat and offer sips of water or hydrating snacks like orange and grapefruit slices, while eating and drinking right along with the senior.
Help with late sundown syndrome (periods of agitation in the evening) — Caregivers help by keeping seniors active in the day so they’re tired-out a night and go to sleep with no problem. Caregivers also keep seniors on steady nap and bedtime schedules so their bodies get used to the routine.
For more information visit www.seniorhelpers.com.