Tips to Keep the Elderly Cool in Hot Weather
Summer in the Middle East means baking hot weather. Luckily, i’m working in a private house surrounded by pines trees. The house is naturally cool inside, aircon is rarely needed not unless it is blisteringly hot.
From experience, old people usually has no inclination to drink so they easily suffer from heat stroke, heat exhaustion and dehydration. When your employer manifest sudden dizziness, vomiting, confusion, fainting, cold and clammy feeling or urine is dark, it is better to call for help immediately.
So how do we keep ourselvelves and patients with chronic medical conditions, comfortable in this heat and humidity?
1. Rehydrate by drinking water and electrolyte drinks because in sweating, we lose a lot of needed minerals. Electrolyte drinks can be the popular sport drinks but they are full of fake sweeteners which aren’t good for old infirm people like diabetics.It is always recommended to use fresh natural products.
Make your own natural electrolyte drinks or smoothies. Squeezing Orange for juice and lemon for lemonade is less than 5 minutes to prepare.
An easy recipe drink that i do is to blender fruits and vegetables. Example:
One big apple
A big slice of watermelon
A few leaves of mint/ stick of celery
Pinch of salt for sodium
Mix it in the blender, pour it into 2 big cups and cool it in the fridge. Serve one cup for mid morning and one for evening. Viola! Be creative in mixing fruits. I sometimes add a bit of ensure vanilla for sweetener but not with citrus fruits.
It’s important to drink continuously even if in small quantity.
2. Avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol. Teas like green tea and black tea, coffee and soda drinks are popular caffeine drinks but they works as diuretics. Opt for herbal teas.
3. Choose comfort over fashion. Wear clothing made from cotton because it allows the skin to breath.
4. Prepare light and easy to digest food. Cold Cucumber Soup is always our favorite during humid evenings.
5. Shower and sponge bath will help beat off the heat. Heat takes toll on old people because of poor circulation, inefficient sweat glands, and the aging body isn’t functioning at full capacity.
Sponge bath during the day wipes off the perspiration that causes smelly armpits and other nasty smell. A sponge bath before bed will send them to dreamland.
6. Turning on the Air Conditioner. One tip to keep the electric bill low is to turn on the aircon at the lowest temp 24 hours rather than turning it intermittently on full blast. It keeps the temperature stable.
7. Put ice in front of the fan. The ice will cool the air that the fan is blowing towards you.
8. Stay indoors and adjust the time you are going out for a walk.
I know, i know! Some of the employers has lost their common sense it doesn’t register the sun is raining UV arrows. Dressed appropriately. I prefer an umbrella rather than be toasted.
9. Hot air rises so in a heat wave, lying low or on the floor is a good remedy to keep cool.
10. Bed-ridden patients needs to change position to release the heat trapped underneath and prevent rashes or bed sores. Sponging hot spots like the groin, armpits, torso and pulse points with cool wet cloth.
Keep the cool drinks coming!