Tips to Prepare Your Elderly Parents for the Sweltering Summer Months

Updated on July 2, 2016

By Jefferey Morgan

The summer season can be extremely challenging for elderly parents. The hot temperatures can severely affect their wellbeing, not to mention that leaving them alone at home (while you go on vacation) can trigger depression. In order to make sure they’re properly taken care of, you must find a way to cater to their needs even from a distance. The job of a caregiver is permanent; if you’ve taken the commitment to look after your aging parent, you have to be aware that you can’t back off. Here are some tips to help you prepare your loved for the summer.

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Health priorities

In some countries, summer is not and temperatures can easily go over 30 degrees Celsius. To make sure your elderly parents stays healthy you need to compel them to adhere to a healthy meal plan. Focus on fruits & veggies, lean meats and dairy; make sure they drink plenty of water during the day as well, to keep their bodies hydrated. As people get older they might start forgetting things. To make sure that doesn’t happen to your loved one, you need to keep bottled water in the house permanently. Now, some seniors don’t like plain water; in their case, you can easily turn to alternatives – watermelon, lemonade, fruit shakes, etc. Apart from being delicious, these also contain enough water to keep the body properly hydrated.

Weekly appointments to the doctor

Some medications might interfere with high temperatures, particularly if your home doesn’t have air conditioning. Scheduling weekly appointments to the doctor will help you become more aware of what pills are suitable for your parent in the summer, and which should be avoided. Intense heat can additionally change your parent’s metabolism; some eat more in the summer, others barely eat anything- neither options right for their health. A nutritionist will help you get your parent’s body and immune system back on the right track.

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Keep in touch

Are your aging parents still living alone? Do they shop for groceries weekly? Can they clean the house by themselves? Because if they’re in good health and they’re used to going out often, you should definitely help them out in the summer. Temperatures are too high for the heart of a senior to resist; at 30 degree Celsius their heart will pumping and their bodies might crash. Be there for them by checking up weekly. Be the one to do the shopping and if you have time, help with the cleaning. Allow them to relax, fix them something refreshing to drink and recommend them to leave such chores for the evening.

Proper wardrobe

In the summer, what you wear can dictate how you feel. Help your parents make sensible choice when dressing up to go out. Their clothes should be made mostly of cotton or linen to allow the skin to breathe. Sun glasses with increased UV protection, sun cream, and hats are fundamental too. Synthetic materials in dark colors should be avoided at all costs because they attract heat and make the body feel too hot and uncomfortable. A proper choice of shoes is equally important – sandals made of leather are the best.

Be aware of hyperthermia risks

Hyperthermia is extremely common among the elderly in the summer. Abnormal body temperatures are usually caused by intense exposure to the sun, and it can lead to all kinds of severe illnesses including heat stroke, which is an advanced form of hyperthermia. Know the signs beforehand and get advice on what needs to be done in case it happens to your parents. Symptoms that might trigger hyperthermia:

  • Behavioral changes – agitation, confusion, anxiety
  • Flushed, dry skin
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Fainting, dizziness

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Unlike most adults who have strong immune systems, seniors are predisposed to all kinds of viruses in the summer. Many end up in bed for days with the most severe cold, which is unusual because in the summer the weather is extremely hot and pleasant. To preserve your loved one’s general health, make sure to include in their diet foods high in vitamins and minerals. Fresh orange juices, strawberry shakes and lots of water should keep them strong, hydrated and upbeat all summer long.

Article written by Jefferey Morgan and


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