The current heat wave in the northeast is more than unpleasant—for seniors, it is also extremely dangerous. Seniors are far and away the most at-risk population for serious consequences related to dehydration, heat stroke and exhaustion resulting from abnormal summer temperatures, and it's vitally important that families take necessary precautions and regularly check on loved ones. To safeguard seniors in summer’s heat, Peter Ross, CEO and co-founder of Senior Helpers, a leading national in-home senior care company with more than 300 offices nationwide, urges families to put together a simple “Senior Summer Survival Kit” that can be assembled in minutes for less than $25.
The kit is an easy, inexpensive way to make sure elderly loved ones have what they need to stay safe and comfortable during hot summer days, especially when family caregivers may be off on vacation.
“Whether seniors are traveling themselves or staying on their own while the rest of the family is out of town, it’s absolutely vital that aging family members have the resources to be safe, happy and healthy,” says Peter. “Taking the time to prepare one of these kits to make sure loved ones have the essentials they need can make all the difference in preventing a serious situation.”
Quick Facts: Why Heat Is So Dangerous For Seniors
- The amount of water retained by the body decreases substantially with age.
- As a result, seniors are at far greater risk of heat-related health problems such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, severe sunburn and dehydration.
- According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 8,000 Americans have died as a result of heat-related afflictions during the past two decades.
What To Put In The Kit
- Reusable water bottle to maintain hydration
- Copies of all prescriptions and health insurance cards
- Phone numbers of health care providers and information concerning chronic health problems
- Sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to protect skin and prevent serious burns
- Multivitamins to keep the immune systems strong
- Battery operated/hand-held fan in case of power outages and extreme heat
“Most heat-related issues for seniors can be avoided through simple planning and precaution,” Peter says. “When it’s unbearably hot outside for you and your kids, it’s downright dangerous for seniors. Take a few minutes and make sure that mom, dad and any other senior family members have everything they need to be safe this summer. A few minutes of planning and a quick trip to the drug store can make all the difference.”