10 Tips to help seniors stay cool in hot weather

As temperatures continue to rise across Ireland this week the team at Bluebird Care felt it was important to share some tips on how to keep yourself or a loved one cool during the hot weather.

Seniors are at risk for heat stroke during hot weather

Older adults need to be more careful of overheating and heat stroke because their bodies can’t adjust to high temperatures as well as younger bodies can. Also, seniors are more likely to start out dehydrated.

Seniors are more vulnerable to heat because:

  • Their bodies don’t adjust as well to sudden changes in temperature.
  • Chronic medical conditions can change their body responses to heat.
  • Prescription medicines can impair their body’s ability to regulate temperature or could actually prevent sweating.

That’s why it’s best for older adults to stay indoors and avoid strenuous activities in hot weather.

To keep seniors safe and comfortable, we’ve rounded up 10 practical, senior-friendly ways to help them stay cool indoors.

10 ways for seniors to stay cool in hot weather

  1. Drink plenty of cool water throughout the day (don’t rely on feeling thirsty!) and avoid alcohol and caffeine.
  2. Eat cooling snacks like homemade frozen lollipops, frozen peas, or slightly frozen grapes.
  3. Eat light, cold meals instead of heavy, hot dishes.
  4. Place a cool washcloth on the back of the neck, wrists, ankles and armpits and keep a pan of cool water close by to periodically re-cool the towel.
  5. Sit with feet in a pan of cool (but not too cold) water.
  6. Keep the house as cool as possible by keeping shades closed during the hottest part of the day.
  7. Wear layers of lightweight clothing in light coloured cotton so it’s easy to adjust to the temperature throughout the day by removing or adding layers.
  8. Visit a public place that has air conditioning where possible such as local shopping centre, library, coffee shop or senior citizen centre.
  9. Take a cool shower, bath, or washcloth wipe-down. For maximum cooling, keep the water just below body temperature.
  10. Cover up with a flexible ice blanket  – use a thin towel to keep the ice away from direct skin contact

DISCLAIMER: This information is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of medical advice or care you receive from your physician or other healthcare provider. Always consult your healthcare provider about your medications, symptoms, and health problems.