Summer heat can be dangerous for the elderly. 6 tips to protect them
Summer heat can be rough for the elderly. Take them for a walk in the evenings or go swimming with them, suggest experts. Mukesh Mehra, senior consultant, Department of Internal Medicine, Max Hospital, and Angeli Misra, co-founder at Lifeline Laboratory, list a few ways to take care of senior citizens:
* Try to plan activities that require going outside during non-peak hours, when it might be a little cooler. Consider exercising at a gym, walking on a treadmill or walking in a mall instead of outdoor walks. Swimming is a good option as well.
* Drink plenty of fluids (non-alcoholic and caffeine-free, as these ingredients have a diuretic effect). Talk to your doctor if you take medications such as Lasix and other diuretics that affect fluid intake. It may be important to consume food and drinks with sodium and potassium to restore electrolyte balance when losing fluids. Also, drink a lot of water.
* Broths or soups contain sodium, fruit juice, soft fruits, and vegetables containing potassium, and sports drinks that contain electrolytes.
* Stay indoors in cool spaces as much as possible. Be aware of signs of dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. The most common signs of dehydration in the elderly are thirst, confusion, irritability and poor skin elasticity.
* Make them wear a wide-brimmed hat if they are out in the sun. Avoid dark colours because they absorb the sun’s rays.
* Keep a check on their diet as it should be well-balanced, light and regular.
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