Senior Care in Summer: Heat

The intense heat that grips the Southwest, interior Northwest and the Great Basin shows signs of easing somewhat, however, temperatures will continue to be higher than normal for the rest of the week.

Earlier this week, triple-digit heat struck Southern California and the record-breaking heat in Las Vegas may have led to the death man in his 80s, CNN reports. Paramedics found the man dead in his home, which did not have air conditioning.

In an recent blog, I wrote about the dangers of dehydration in seniors. But older adults are vulnerable to a variety of heat-related illnesses. The elderly are more prone to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Heat stress especially affects the elderly for a variety of reasons: they don’t adjust to sudden temperature changes as well as their younger counterparts. Prescription medications could hinder the body’s ability to regulate its temperature. Chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and dementia can make someone particularly susceptible to hot weather health problems.

Heat stroke symptoms include hallucinations, chills, confusion and dizziness, along with slurred speech. The CDC reports that common heat related symptoms can also include:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Paleness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fainting
  • Fast and weak pulse rate
  • Fast and shallow breathing


The American Geriatrics Society’s Foundation for Health in Aging (FHIA) reports that most of the 200 Americans who die each summer of heat-related complications are over 50. They’ve prepared a handy tip sheet, "Hot Weather Safety Tips for Older Adults", available for download. Caregivers can help seniors stay safe with these recommendations:

Stay inside in air-conditioning. If there’s no air-conditioning in the home, go somewhere that is air-conditioned, like a movie theater, library or senior center. Fans DO NOT provide adequate cooling when temperatures hit 90 degrees.

  • Stay out of the sun. If they must go out, have them wear light, loose-fitting clothing and a  lightweight brimmed hat for shade. Also, apply a “broad spectrum” sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher.
  • Go out early in the morning or after the sun sets, when it’s cooler.
  • Have your senior drink cool water, juices or other liquids. Stay away from alcoholic beverages, which can dehydrate.
  • Give tepid (not too cold or too hot) showers, baths, or sponge baths. Or wet washcloths or towels with cool water and put them on wrists, ankles, armpits, and neck. This will also cool them down.

Keep yourself and your seniors safe and healthy this summer by taking these precautions. Senior caregivers can gain additional crucial caregiving skills by taking a 10-hour online Caregiver Certification training course.

Fashion Has No Age with Liz & Ettâ„¢

Fashion magazines train reader's minds that young, beautiful, and flawless men and women represent the face of trends, brands, and designers.  As everyone knows, all people age, and, unfortunately, some of these people encounter health conditions that affect their mobility.  No one should have to sacrifice feeling good about the way they look due to age or condition. This is where Liz & Ett steps in.

Seniors can look fabulous, despite any situation, with apparel by Liz & Ett™.  Men and women can maintain their dignity with pieces from this fashion boutique.  Women have the SmockFrock™ available in three different styles: Faye, Gigi and Rose. The SmockFrock protects clothes when eating, cooking, painting, and essentially anytime when clothes are in danger of spills and stains! With waterproof chest and lap coverage and water-resistant lining and trim, clothing will definitely be safe. 

 

Men shouldn't be discouraged from getting their own version of the SmockFrock-- a men's vest.  As of now, the Liz & Ett male version comes in one style, Richard.  This men's vest has the same features as the SmockFrock to protect clothing: waterproof chest and lap coverage and water-resistant lining and trim.

 

Caregivers and seniors both need to carry many different things to get through the day, such as medication, their cell phone, a first aid kit, and any other supplies for emergencies or unexpected situations. Liz & Ett created a tote to carry all of these essentials. The tote comes in the same styles as the SmockFrock: Faye, Gigi and Rose. This can be a perfect way to carry a matching SmockFrock!

 

Caregivers, CNAs, and CHHAs, surprise your senior with an item from Liz & Ett™ today!  

Know someone with a caring personality and who loves working with other people? Refer-a-Friend to be a caregiver and enter to win a t-shirt of $50 gift card!

About Liz & Ett™

 While caring for her grandmothers, Liz Emery saw a great need for stylish apparel adapted to the needs of women with limited mobility.  She began designing and established Liz & Ett in her grandmothers’ memory.  Liz is passionate about maintaining dignity and style at all stages of life, especially in the face of health challenges. 

Liz holds a BA in Microbiology from Miami University; an MPH in Epidemiology from Indiana University; and attended St. George’s University School of Medicine for two years prior to caring for her grandmothers.  She launched her e-commerce site in April 2012 and currently resides in New York City, overseeing production of her line in the NYC Garment Center.  

 

 

 

 

Caregiver and Patient Needs Survey: Receive $50 for Your Support Communtiy

Sudden life-changing situations, like a serious illness, not only affect the individual, but the family, too.  People want to be independent and fend for themselves, but what can they do when the medical bills start to add up? Who can they turn to when they need someone to talk to? MediGift steps in as a support community outlet to sort tasks, research new treatments, discover and source needed services, and organize monetary needs. Caregivers may participate in a survey to help MediGift find the best ways to engage the support of the friends and community members who want to help a caregiver or a patient facing a serious illness or health crisis. The survey can be accessed here and will take just five minutes.

Survey results will be used to help MediGift develop tools and provide relevant services to it's current and future users. MediGift may also publish aggregate, anonymous results of the survey to promote better understanding of caregiver and patient needs for others serving this population.

MediGift will say "thanks" to the participants by rewarding $50 toward an active support community created by anyone who completes the survey and meets the basic qualifications describes in the Caregiver and Patient Needs Survey section on the FAQ page

About MediGift 

MediGift was created to harness the energy and resources of friends and the expertise of service providers to help caregivers and patients dealing with a serious illness or health crisis.

No one wants to ask for help, though when friends or loved ones are ill, we all want to provide it. In addition, caregivers often don't have the time or the expertise to make the right decisions. Resources- time and money- are always in short supply.  MediGift provides a single place where friends, family and colleagues can come together in order to effectively organize those resources-- as well as enabling monetary gifts to help fund them.

In addition to providing important support to caregivers, private online MediGift communities can offer higher levels of social support to patients. Social support has been shown in more than 25 studies to provide tangible health benefits.

 

Caregiver Stress Relief Photo of the Week

Caregivers employed with senior care companies know the realities of caregiver stress. Caregiverlist invites all family caregivers and professional caregivers to take a moment for relaxation with our photo of the week and inspirational quote. This week's photo features tulips that may bring color into your life as a caregiver. Thank you for caring for our seniors and please refer your friends to apply for part-time and full-time job positions on Caregiverlist.com and visit our career center for additional career tools.

Caregiver Stress Relief Photo of the Week Tulips

"Opportunities are never lost. The other fellow takes those you miss."

Anonymous

 

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