Heat affects older adults in so many ways. Age changes how well the blood circulates. Sweat glands don’t work as effectively. Medications may cause problems that make exposure to the heat very concerning.
If a medication causes nausea, your parents may not drink as much as they should to stay hydrated. If they’re not staying hydrated or become overheated, it can become dangerous.
Someone needs to check on your parents each day. You may not live close enough to do so. If you live in another state or country, the best you can do is call or try to video chat. That may not be enough to make sure your parents are staying cool and hydrated. What else can you do?
Talk to Your Friends or a Neighbor
Do you have any friends or neighbors your parents know well? If they would be willing to stop by and see how your parents are doing, it can be very helpful. That person can stop by, see how they’re doing, and call you if there are concerns.
While this is a convenient option, there can still be complications. Your parents may not recognize this person at first and refuse to answer the door. It also puts a lot of pressure on someone else. If they have their own emergency and can’t get to your parents’ house, what happens?
Hire a Caregiver
You could arrange elderly care services. A caregiver could stop by each day and see how your mom and dad are doing. Caregivers can make sure the air conditioning is working. They can prepare foods that are easy to eat and have a high water content, such as watermelon or celery sticks.
Caregivers can run outside to get the mail, which keeps your parents inside and out of the heat. They can do the housework, run errands, and alert you and your parents’ doctors if they do seem to be dehydrated or dealing with heat stress.
Heat stress is a risk any person faces in the summer. It can be enhanced in older adults due to the changes their bodies go through as they age. Elderly care aides are important if you live too far away to check on your parents. Some symptoms of heat-related health issues are not easily identified over the phone. Hire an elderly care aide to stop by each day and make sure your parents are staying cool and drinking plenty.