Everyone knows how important it is to winterize your home. If a house isn’t properly prepared for the winter, it could be an unsafe place to be, especially if you’re elderly. What’s often ignored is the fact that a home should be “summerized” as well to prepare for the hot summer months. It’s a little-known fact that heat-related deaths from heatstroke and heat exhaustion are the most common of all weather-related deaths among the elderly.
If you’re providing home care for a loved one in your family, here are some things to think about when it comes to “summerizing” their home
A Few Home Care Tips for Summer
Hot weather is the most dangerous when a person is exercising or working outdoors. That doesn’t mean, however, that it can’t be dangerous indoors as well. Here are a few steps for protecting your elderly loved one:
- Make sure the air conditioner is working the way it should. Change the filter if necessary, and call for a professional if you think it requires maintenance.
- If your loved one is reluctant to use the AC due to its cost, check your local Area Agency for the Aging to find out what sort of local, state, or federal aid might be possible.
- If your family member lacks central air, buy a window unit. It also helps to open the windows in the mornings and evenings to let in as much cool air as possible but make sure to close the windows and drapes during daylight hours.
- Give your parent’s wardrobe a thorough review. You want to make sure that they have plenty of lightweight, loose-fitting clothing — ideally made of cotton or linen.
Monitor Your Loved One
As with other aspects of home care, it’s important to always monitor your elderly relative to make sure they’re doing okay. If you’re not there all the time, be sure to check in whenever there’s a heatwave. If, in spite of your “summerizing” efforts, their home is still too hot, make arrangements for them to spend the days elsewhere. That might mean driving them to a friend’s home, or to a senior center or library.
Hire a Professional Caregiver
During extremely hot weather, a home care assistant can be extremely helpful. A few of their duties can include:
- Drive to a cooler location when required.
- Make adjustments to AC, fans, and shades for maximum coolness.
- Shop for groceries and prepare meals.
- Keep your senior hydrated.
- Watch over them to make sure they’re safe while they exercise and go about the day.
- Assist with bathing and dressing properly to make sure they’re comfortable.
- Monitor their health and report back to family members.
If you have any other questions, or would like to know how Home Care Assistance of Dayton can assist your family during the hot summer months, contact us today.