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Tips to Keep a Senior’s Home Comfortable in the Summer

By Marius Butas, 9:00 am on

Summer temperatures in Arizona easily climb to the upper 90s or exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The excessive heat is especially dangerous for senior citizens. While elderly people might prefer staying inside during the scorching days, home preparation is necessary to prevent overheating. Many older adults are choosing to age in place, and some need a helping hand to continue living at home safely and comfortably. Luckily, there is professional home care Mesa seniors can trust and rely on.

Here are a few summer safety tips for family caregivers.

Assess Home Exteriors

Assess and replace the caulking and weather stripping around doors and windows. Have a professional HVAC technician perform maintenance on air conditioning systems to ensure they work properly. AC maintenance often includes cleaning the coils and filters in addition to checking coolant levels. Consider planting shade trees around your senior loved one’s home to block the sunrays. 

Assess Home Interiors

Begin in the attic, and ensure there is sufficient insulation to prevent heat from reaching the living spaces of your loved one’s home. Installing tint on windows can reduce the amount of heat permeation, and hanging lined drapes can enhance its heat-blocking ability. You can also install ceiling fans to reduce the interior temperature and make sure the blades turn in a counterclockwise direction, which pushes cooler air downward. Along with air conditioners and ceiling fans, portable and personal fans circulate cool air throughout the home. If your loved one uses the clothes dryer during laundry, make sure the indoor and exterior vents are open, which can reduce the heat produced by dryers. Plugged vents also raise the risk of fire hazards. 

Small spray bottles filled with water enable seniors to refresh themselves with a quick spritz. Educate your loved one regarding the possible dangers of summer and overheating. The more knowledge and preparation your loved one has, the more likely he or she will be able to stay cool during summer. Aging adults with dementia may be unable to communicate or recognize thirst. Caring for a senior with dementia can be challenging for family caregivers. Luckily, there is dementia care Mesa families can rely on. Professional dementia caregivers help seniors with dementia stay safe and comfortable at home by preventing wandering, providing cognitive stimulation, and assisting with household chores.

Prepare for Emergencies

Seniors living alone at home should also know what to do in case of an emergency. Certain areas may initiate blackouts, air conditioners may malfunction, or a storms may cause a power outage. Your loved one should have a plan to keep cool if such events occur. 

Keep phone numbers of family members, repair services, and other emergency contacts accessible and visible. Your senior loved one might want to consider freezing a few bottles of water. As the ice thaws, he or she will have cold, refreshing water to drink, which helps keep internal body temperatures down. Freezing damp washcloths is another option. When an emergency power failure occurs, a cold washcloth on the back of the neck also helps maintain body temperature in seniors. Having extra bottled water on hand is helpful to ensure seniors stay hydrated. 

Family members should check in with elderly loved ones on a regular basis. This way, when an emergency happens, family members stay informed and might be more readily available to offer assistance if needed. Mesa respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed. To learn more about our senior care programs, give Home Care Assistance a call at (480) 699-4899 today.