There are many positive things about Maltese summers – beautiful weather, holidays and more free time for family and friends to meet up and have fun together. However, the high temperatures can have potentially negative effects on the elderly, which may include dehydration, heat stress or exhaustion. As the leading provider of elderly homes in Malta, CareMalta has put together a few tips on how to help older people cope with, and stay cool in hot weather.
Educate yourself on signs of distress
Become familiar with the symptoms of hyperthermia – extreme temperature elevation in the body which can lead to further complications. Warning signs include headaches, moody behaviour, nausea or vomiting, dry skin with no sweat and even fainting. Move the afflicted person to a cooler area and give them plenty of water to drink; in the case of severe symptoms, seek medical help immediately.
Keep them constantly hydrated
Avoid drinks such as alcohol and caffeine, and make sure that the elderly person always has a regular supply of water at hand from which they can drink frequently throughout the day. Vegetables with high water content also make for ideal snacks, along with frozen food items such as ice lollies, frozen grapes and ice-cream (within healthy limits).
Food and nutrition
Instead of heavy, hot meals, prepare dishes like chicken or pasta salad. Urge the person to eat a substantial amount of fresh food like watermelons, peaches and berries.
Be careful when going outside
The sun is certainly beneficial to our health – it enhances our moods while providing a substantial amount of Vitamin D, which is good for our bones and can help prevent osteoporosis. However, intense rays of sunlight over an extended period of time can prove to be harmful. Choose shaded areas where the person can rest at regular intervals, and when inside, draw the curtains during the hottest part of the day to protect the room from very strong sunlight.
Include certain measures to cool them down
Place a pan of cold (but not freezing) water close by, in which the elderly person can cool their feet. Use a washcloth for relief during especially strong heatwaves, and apply it on the back of their neck and other areas of the body. Encourage the person to sponge or bathe in cool water, setting it to just below body temperature.
Here at CareMalta, we take pride in offering a holistic service throughout all our nine elderly homes in Malta. Our staff are highly qualified and dedicated, trained to provide the best care and attention to each of our residents. If you’re looking for comfortable and secure home care in Malta, contact us today for more information about how we can help you and your loved one.
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