How to keep care patients cool during summer
With summer well and truly here, Care providers now face the seasonal challenge of keeping their patients cool as well as managing any underlying health conditions.
Failure to do so can result in heat exhaustion or heat stroke, a life-threatening condition.
So, here are Care Hires’ top tips to helping your patients to keep cool this summer:
Help them drink plenty of cool water — and don’t wait until they are thirsty!
Maintaining proper hydration is absolutely essential, especially in hot weather. Older adults are less able to cope with sudden changes in temperature and those suffering from dementia may be especially vulnerable, as they may be unable to communicate distress.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol as well as these contribute to dehydration.
Prepare lighter meals with plenty of fruits and salad, and try frozen snacks to cool down some more
Large and heavy meals may be great at warming up on a winter’s day, but in the summer, cool foods with a high water content such as salads are often better. Frozen snacks such as ice lollies should also be considered, if appropriate for the patient.
Keep out of the sun during the hottest parts of the day
Most of us want to be outside more in the pleasant weather, but between 11am and 3pm is usually the hottest part of the day and the hardest time to find shade. Early mornings and later in the evenings are a much better time to get outside to cool down.
Create cool spaces within the home
Keeping curtains closed on the sunny side of the building, allowing a cool breeze through by opening windows during the cool parts of the day, and if possible using air conditioning (even if just in one room to save money) can help keep temperatures down in your living spaces.
Check on them frequently
If there are signs that the heat may be adversely affecting anyone in your care then acting quickly, according to the best medical advice, is crucial.
All of these pieces of advice can only be acted on if your team is adequately staffed, and the more pairs of hands you are missing the more difficult providing care that is good quality and safe for those under your responsibility.