The thermometer outside is reading 82. You don’t think that’s so bad. You don’t worry about your mom being outside in 82. The temperature isn’t what you should pay attention to. You need to look at the heat index.
The heat index is a calculation of what temperature it feels like outside when you factor in the humidity.
If the humidity is at 40 or 45 percent, 82 will feel like 82. If the humidity is high, 82 suddenly feels like the 90s. The higher the heat index, the bigger the risk of your mom developing a heat-related condition like heat exhaustion.
Why is Heat Dangerous?
Your mom always says she’s cold. If you turn on the air conditioning, she’s complaining about feeling ice cold. If you don’t turn it on, you increase the risk of her becoming dehydrated or overheated. Older people don’t produce as much sweat, so the body’s method of cooling off is less effective. The body’s core temperature rises.
They also don’t tend to feel thirsty as quickly as younger adults. By the time they notice they’re thirsty, dehydration could already be present. In hot weather, it’s especially important to drink plenty of water.
What Should You Do?
When the heat index rises, there are four important steps to take. These are important to keep her safe in the extreme heat.
-First, make sure your mom is drinking fluids as often as is needed. If she’s on diuretics, she needs to follow her doctor’s orders. If she isn’t, the recommendation is just over 2 liters plus the water content she gets from the foods she eats.
-Second, she needs to stay indoors and lower how active she is. If she has to go out, it shouldn’t be for more than a few minutes. Going outside to check the mail is okay if the mailbox is close to her front door. If her mailbox is half a mile down a long driveway, she needs to have someone else get it.
-Third, make sure she has air conditioning in at least one room. AC in the living room is ideal. At night if it doesn’t cool down, she should sleep in the living room rather than try to sleep in her hot bedroom.
-Fourth, check on her regularly. See how much she’s had to drink, check that she’s not flushed or hot, and check the temperature inside her house. If it’s too hot, she needs to take a cool shower. Lightweight cotton clothing in light colors helps keep her cooler.
If you live too far away to check on her, you need to hire elderly care aides who can. They can monitor her water intake, make sure her home is cool, and drive her to somewhere safer if her air conditioning isn’t working. Learn more about prices and elderly care services now.
If you or an aging loved one is considering hiring Home Health Care in Coronado, CA, or the surrounding area, please contact the caring staff at Love 2 Live Care. Call Today 1-619-291-4663