How To Protect Your Employer From Dangerous Summer Heat
Everyone is prone to heat-related illnesses but people who are more than 65 years old are at a higher risk of succumbing to such illnesses especially if they are not properly taken care of. Their circulation is poor and they don’t sweat out as efficiently as the people who are younger than them. In order for you to help them beat the heat during summer season, here are some tips:
1. Rehydrate - be always ready with a bottle of water or other beverages that your employer prefer but avoid sodas which is packed with sugar and avoid alcohol which is dehydrating. Make sure that they are always hydrated by offering them drinks from time to time.
2. Consult Your Doctor - It is very important for your savta/saba to be physically examined during summertime. Remind them to have a schedule to their family doctor especially if they are prone to heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke, skin cancer or asthma attacks.
3. Reduce Sun Exposure - Some elderly patients “overdress” themselves even during summer so make sure that their clothes are light, thin and loose. Let them wear clothes made from cotton or linen. You can let them wear hats and sunglasses to protect their face and eyes from direct sunlight. Put some sunscreen on them with at least 50% protection to avoid sunburn.
4. Proper Hours - Stay indoor between 10:00 in the morning until 3:00 in the afternoon. This is the dangerous hours during summertime. Make sure that during this time, you have enough ventilation at home or you can turn on the air-condition.
5. Avoid Sweating - For patients confined in bed, make sure that you log-turn them from time to time. Sweat from the body because of too much heat can cause bed sores. It is also possible for them to have pneumonia because of the excessive sweat on their back. Make sure they are appropriately ventilated.
6. Shower Often - Shower at least once a day. Elderly people often gets cold and taking a shower is quite a pain for them. But during summertime, encourage them to freshen up at least once a day. Taking a bath with lukewarm water can help with their blood circulation and relaxes their muscles. It is also very important to wash them very often especially if they are using adult diapers. Their urine can cause a major skin outbreak if left uncleaned.
7. Right Food - Give them proper nutrition. Let them eat water-rich foods such as salads, fruits like watermelon or melon and healthy green vegetables. You can also let them enjoy some popsicles, ice creams and jellos if they are allowed.
8. Cold To Warm To Cold - Avoid body temperature swings. Do not give your employer an ice-cold water the moment you get home from outside. Let his/her body cool down a little bit by putting on the air-condition in a low-cool thermostat level. Make sure to change his/her clothes immediately if it’s wet with sweat. Give a glass of water in room temperature and let him/her drink it slowly.
9. Keep A Keen Eye - Be vigilant for any signs of heat-stroke, rashes, bug bites, asthma attacks and other heat-related illnesses during summer. If you need to be away from your employer, make sure to keep in touch with them as often as possible. Make sure they have the telephone and a glass of water beside them, they are well-ventilated and they know whom to call just in case they’ll feel ill.
10. Be Bug Free - Summer is fun not just for human beings but also for a lot of summer bugs and insects. Mosquitos, wasps, bees, spiders and other crawling insects can ruin your summer fun when you won’t do anything to avoid them. Mosquito repellents and lotions are helpful but proper house cleaning and annual insect and pest control at home would be very effective. Make sure to have antihistamines, pain killers and topical creams at home for emergency.
Summer heat is unbearable not just to the elderly but also to the caregivers and to those who are suffering from chronic diseases. But, it is not a valid reason not to enjoy your summertime. There are a lot of activities that you can both enjoy before winter comes. As a caregiver, you are always prone to exhaustion during summer. Remember to take care of yourself too. Always stay hydrated, well-fed and make sure you have a proper rest before straining yourself with work.