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Ability Superstore Blog

Welcome to our blog, your one-stop resource for news, features and resources for living life to the fullest. View our articles on the latest mobility products and features with disability bloggers.

6 Tips To Prevent Dehydration And Overheating In Seniors

Posted by Thomas Bynde on June 21, 2019

the image shows a cold glass of water being poured

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

With summer officially here, the days are longer and much hotter. Whether you’re a summer lover or you prefer it cool, it’s important for everyone to be aware of the damage the sun can do and to limit how much time you spend in the heat. For older individuals or those with less mobility, it is extra important to keep rooms airy, cool and comfortable at all times. Overheating can occur if an environment is too hot but it can be spotted in symptoms such as:

  • Headaches
  • Tiredness
  • Confusion and other behavioural changes
  • Feeling sick
  • Feeling dizzy, weak or faint (and even fainting)
  • Muscle spasms or cramps
  • Swollen ankles
  • Thirstiness

If you or your loved one is less mobile or living with conditions like dementia, it can make it difficult for them to let you know if they are too warm. Individuals with less mobility could find it harder to move out of the sunshine to a cooler spot, so it’s a good idea to keep your rooms the perfect temperature. Here’s how:

Regular rests to ensure that no one overheats and gets too tired. Too much activity in hot weather can lead to exhaustion and dizziness, and can also be very dangerous. Take a break in a cool room or a shady part of the garden and keep an eye on your loved one to make sure everyone is well-rested.

Cool down by drinking cool water which helps to prevent dehydration and maintain a safe body temperature. When it’s wash time, using slighter cooler water to bathe or shower in can feel refreshing and can even lower body temperature too. Use a thermometer to make sure it’s a comfortable temperature.

Let the air flow by placing electric fans at suitable points around the home to help to regulate air flow, or you could open windows to let in a breeze. Rooms can quickly become stuffy and uncomfortable when direct sunlight is shining through the windows, making it harder to breathe. Even a small breeze can help to cool down.

Keep bedrooms cool at night. Sleeping in a hot and stuffy room can be very difficult and uncomfortable, leading to exhaustion in the morning and dehydration overnight. When you’re up during the day, keep your bedroom curtains closed to prevent sunlight from shining through which keeps the bedroom cooler.

Provide shade when sitting in the garden. Being outdoors in the sunshine is beautiful and pleasant, but shade is important to prevent overheating and sunburn. Large trees can offer shade from sunshine, or a few parasols are perfect for keeping the sun off everyone.

Choose the right time to go outside. Avoid midday, which is the hottest time of the day due to the sun being directly overhead and instead stick to cooler times of the day such as before 11am and after 3pm. Staying in the shade as well as wearing light clothing and hats will help keep you protected from the sun while enjoying the outdoors.