The risk of developing heat-related illnesses increases with age, with people over the age of 65 being at the greatest risk of heat stroke. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care. Las Vegas, Nevada, families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
You can help your loved one create a summer-proof home to reduce the risk of life-threatening conditions caused by rising temperatures. Here are a few ways to prepare your loved one’s home for the summer.
Schedule Air Conditioning Maintenance
Seniors who don’t have access to air conditioning and fans are at risk of developing heat-related health conditions. Schedule air conditioning maintenance in early spring to prepare for the summer, and set fans to the correct position to increase air circulation in the home.
If your loved one doesn’t have air conditioning, install a new unit in early spring. Air conditioning is one of the most effective ways to prevent heat-related illnesses in the elderly. Seniors who don’t have access to air conditioning at home should spend the summer months in a cooler space such as an adult day center or at a nearby family member’s home.
Uncovered windows allow heat to enter the home, which forces air conditioning units to work harder to keep the room cool. To maintain cooler indoor temperatures, keep windows covered and install light-blocking window treatments on western-facing windows with full sun exposure. Blackout panels are effective at maintaining indoor temperatures.
Add blackout drapes to windows that trap heat during the warmest part of the day, or layer traditional curtains with solar curtains to keep the home cooler. You can also install window film to keep your loved one comfortable throughout the year.
Stock the Fridge with Water
Dehydration is common among the elderly, but seniors who are dehydrated during summer face the risk of developing heat-related illnesses. To encourage your loved one to drink plenty of water, stock the refrigerator with water and the freezer with ice trays during the summer months. To help your loved one monitor his or her water intake, choose water containers that have easy-to-read measurements written on them.
Some seniors need a reminder every few hours to drink a glass of water, while others may need assistance with drinking water. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in home care, Las Vegas Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks.
Prepare for Power Outages
Power breakdowns can be dangerous for seniors who rely on air conditioning to stay cool. Consider using a generator as a backup source for energy in the case of power outages, or install a solar panel system that can power fans or other cooling equipment until the power returns.
While these steps may seem unnecessary, exposure to high heat for even a short amount of time can be life threatening for some seniors. With a backup power system, your loved one can stay cool until help arrives.
Dementia can cause seniors to forget to drink an adequate amount of water, which makes them susceptible to dehydration and heat stroke in summer. If your elderly loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, consider hiring a professional caregiver to help him or her manage the condition. For dementia home care Las Vegas, NV, families can count on, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our compassionate caregivers use revolutionary memory care programs to help seniors stave off the progression of dementia, and they can also assist with a wide variety of important everyday tasks, including bathing, grooming, exercise, and cooking. To learn about our customized senior home care plans, call one of our friendly Care Managers at (702) 550-3185 today.