Elderly Care During the Heat of Summer posted on: 07-07-2009

Keeping cool during the summer heat can be a challenge for everyone. As the temperatures begin to rise, most of us go indoors and turn the thermostat down on the air conditioning without a second thought. However, some of the most vulnerable among us may not have that option. When providing elderly care it is important to be aware of some of the following points.

The elderly portion of society is generally more susceptible to the dangers of the summer heat than the rest of us are. Sadly, the elderly population are the least likely to have a working air conditioner in their homes. While some of them may have air conditioning, they are often, at times, leery of using them due to increasing energy costs – and they become a luxury instead of a necessity. In an elderly care situation you might be aware of this by noticing a cooling unit but, despite the heat, it isn’t being used.

Caregivers and families can ensure that their elderly loved ones remain cool and safe during the heat by taking a close look at the options available in their community. Raising awareness about heat related injuries and deaths is something that most larger cities do each summer. Additionally, they offer cooling centers where the elderly, homeless, or other persons without access to adequate air conditioning to cool off for a few hours during the hottest times of the day. If your local community does not offer specific programs and cooling centers, there are alternatives. Here are three options that families and caregivers with elderly loved ones can look into no matter where they live.

Day programs for seniors

Many communities have day programs geared toward seniors. These programs often include crafts, games, meals, and other activities such as field trips and are based in a variety of local public buildings like community centers. These programs are generally offered several times a week and last all day long. Most of them are free of charge.

Libraries

Libraries are a good choice for cooling off during the summer heat. Most of them are handicapped accessible for visitors utilizing mobility aids. Some library offer programs like reading groups and book signings as well as other hands on activities. There are books on tape and large print items for elderly patrons who may have visual impairment. Call ahead to confirm your local library’s hours of operation.

Shopping malls

Shopping malls are another option for finding indoor solace this summer. Aside from the retail outlets, shopping malls often have special events during the summer such as fashion and car shows. Most malls are also located along public transportation routes so when providing elderly care this could be a cheap, refreshing and easy day out.