May 27, 2018
Help Your Elderly Loved Ones Enjoy a Safe Summer
Memorial Day is considered by many to be the unofficial beginning of summer. For many people, summer is the season to spend time outdoors enjoying the beautiful weather and going on family vacations. However, for senior members of your family, both activities can be challenging. It is natural that you want the elderly members of your family to enjoy time with the entire family this summer. You can include the senior members of your family in summer activities and trips if you take a few precautions and plan accordingly.
Know the Signs of Heat Stroke in Elderly Individuals
Some elderly individuals are more susceptible to heat stroke even when the temperatures are not that high. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), individuals 65 years and older do not adjust too well to sudden changes in temperature, and they are more prone to heat-related illnesses.
Therefore, you should know the signs of heat-related illnesses and what to do if you suspect a senior citizen is experiencing trouble. The CDC has a chart on its website that provides the warning signs of heat-related illnesses and what you should do if someone is suffering from a heat stroke or other heat-related illness. It is a good idea as caregivers to review the information on the chart and print a copy of the chart to keep with you as a reminder of what to look for and what to do if anyone suffers from a heat stroke.
During the hotter months, you need to check on elderly individuals to make sure they are drinking enough water and have access to air conditioning. If you are participating in outdoor activities, you should watch seniors very carefully for any signs of distress. Make sure there is plenty of water and somewhere to sit in the shade. Also, make sure that the person applies sunscreen and wears a hat and protective glasses when outside. It is prudent to limit time outdoors for an elderly individual when it is warm or humid.
Traveling with Elderly Relatives
Summer is a common season for families to go on vacation. While you want to include your senior relatives, it can be more challenging for some elderly individuals to travel away from home. If you want to take the elderly members of your family with you this summer on vacation, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
- Double check to make sure that your form of transportation and where you are staying has the necessary mobility equipment. Grab bars in the bathroom, walk-in showers, wheel-chair ramps, etc.
- Create a list of medications and give the other adults copies of the medication list. It is also a good idea to ask the doctor for a duplicate prescription in case the medication was lost or misplaced.
- Make sure when you plan activities you take into consideration the limitations of your elderly relatives. You need to ensure that they have time to lie down and rest in the afternoons. In addition, some seniors may have earlier bedtimes, so you need to be aware of this too when planning activities.
- If your elderly relatives have dietary restrictions, check ahead to ensure that the hotel, resort, or cruise ship can accommodate the special diet. You may need to take some foods and/or supplements with you.
- Be flexible. Scheduling every minute of the day typically does not work for elderly travelers. You need to be flexible and mindful of the needs of your elderly family members.
- Before leaving home, consult with the senior’s primary care physician for any special considerations or limitations you should be aware of for your trip.
- Whenever possible, maintain a daily routine to help ease anxiety and stress for a loved one with a cognitive
- Research medical facilities at your destination so that you know where to go for help if necessary and what to expect.
Do not shy away from taking your elderly parents or other seniors on your summer family vacation. Just make sure you plan accordingly for traveling with seniors.
Check on Elderly Neighbors and Family Members During the Summer
Throughout the summer, check on your elderly family members and neighbors frequently to ensure they are taking care of themselves and their needs are being met. If you cannot go to their home every day, make sure to call once each day to check in with an elderly neighbor, friend, or relative, especially during periods of extreme heat.
The Elder Care Firm of Christopher J. Berry, CELA
Caring for an elderly loved one has certain challenges. It can be helpful to consult an estate planning attorney and Medicaid planning attorney now to ensure you have the resources necessary to care for your loved one.
Contact our law firm by calling 888-390-4360 or by using the contact form on our website. We want to help you develop a plan that ensures your loved ones will receive the care they need even if you are unable to provide that care.