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Hot weather tips for seniors

TAMMY ADAMS & SUSAN FISHER Special to The Standard

As the temperatures heat up around the province, it’s important to keep an eye on the seniors in our community and make sure they are safe during the hot weather. Seniors are at a higher risk for heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion, stroke, and even death. Simple steps can be taken to ensure seniors enjoy a safe and healthy summer, no matter the temperature.

Seniors often have difficulty adapting to quick changes in temperature. In addition, many are taking medications which can interfere with body temperature regulation, and so they are much more susceptible to dehydration. When it comes to seniors and hot weather, prevention is key. Adding a few extra items to care kits may be the difference between a summer spent with the grandparents and an emergency hospital visit.

The first step for staying safe in the heat is proper hydration. Make sure your loved one is drinking fluids, often, as older people dehydrate quicker and need more fluids to stay hydrated. Water is always the best choice for hydration. However, sports drinks which contain electrolytes, or beverages high in potassium, can also help to keep them hydrated. Limit outdoor activities or try to plan them for the early morning or evening hours, when the sun isn’t as strong. When outside, wear a hat, lightweight clothing, and sunscreen with at least an SPF 15 rating. Monitor seniors’ activities to make sure they’re not pushing themselves too hard.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include; body cramps, dizziness, and sweating. If a senior is experiencing any of these, it’s important to check their temperature and get them out of the heat. Stay cool inside the home as well. Keep shades pulled during the day and open them in the evening hours. Good airflow in your home helps to keep it cool, so, if the night's not hot, try opening windows in multiple rooms at night to get a nice breeze.

Also, don’t forget about power outages. Make sure your loved one has multiple battery sources for medical equipment or fans, in case of an outage. Keep a dollar store solar light outside and you can use it inside at night if the power goes out. Keep a list of emergency contacts and have an emergency plan, just in case immediate help is needed.

As temperatures reach their peak, it’s important to take extra steps to ensure our seniors are safe and sound and enjoying a healthy summer season. With the right precautions, our senior population can manage and enjoy the hot weather safely.

Tammy and Susan run Silver Lights Senior Services, a family-owned and operated seniors’ homecare company, serving the City of Kawartha Lakes, Port Perry and Uxbridge. New Adult Day Program for Dementia is now open in Lindsay, ON. Find them on Facebook and Instagram or visit their website, at To book services, call Tammy, at 705-308-1940, or to register for the Day Program, call Susan, at 705-324-2911.

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