The summer is here. Long days filled with blue skies… as well as high temperatures. We love the summer days but we al need to be mindful of the effects that the sun and excessive heat can have on our elderly loved one.

Overheating is a real danger with the elderly so watch for signs such as confusion or an unusual mental state. If your loved one exhibits either it could be that they are suffering from heat stroke. Keep them hydrated and ensure that they are dressed lightly. Call their doctor to keep them informed. If they faint, call 911 immediately.

Here are our five top tips to help your elderly loved one enjoy the summer safely:

  1. Keep hydrated

Dehydration is dangerous for everyone, but especially the young and the elderly. Ensure your loved one keeps hydrated by drinking at

least eight glasses of water a day… drinking just co􀁶ee doesn’t count and can lead to dehydration.

  1. Avoid direct sun as much as possible

We’ve all heard the saying keeping out of the midday sun, but in fact, the sun is strong from between 10am and around 4pm. So forget

the saying and remember that the sun is pretty strong for the majority of the day, and at its strongest around 3pm.

  1. Use sunscreen

If your loved one is going to be in the sun, remind them to apply sunscreen – the older generation were not as educated about the

dangers of sun exposure. They should use a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB and has an SPF of 30 plus.

  1. Close the drapes and shades

Due to poor circulation, many older people 􀁹nd air-conditioning too cold, and don’t always feel the heat, leaving them at risk of

overheating. If your loved one doesn’t want to turn the air conditioning on, then get them to close the drapes and shades as the sun

moves through the day. This will help keep the rooms cooler.

  1. Wear the right clothing

Make sure your loved one wears light-weight, light clothing. If they wear a hat, make sure it’s breathable so that it doesn’t trap in the heat.