Senior Health: Elderly Urged to Stay Cool, Comfortable in Summer Heat

By Colleen Van Horn RN, B.S.N., PHN, CCM

San Diego Placement Care Agency

Staying cool ensures optimal senior health. (San Diego Placement Care Agency)

Summer heat isn’t merely bothersome – it can actually be very deadly. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, hot weather is the #1 weather-related cause of death in the United States. Incredibly, squelching heat claims more lives than all other weather conditions combined including hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and lightning.

When it comes to summer weather, the elderly population is most affected and dramatic changes in temperature can lead to adverse health effects.

Elderly tend to be sensitive to hot weather because their bodies are unable to adjust to extreme temperatures according to a recent article at Arizona Central. In addition to any chronic medical conditions, summer heat can also lead to cardiovascular or blood pressure concerns.

Keep your elderly loved ones safe this summer by observing the following tips – and stay cool in the coming months!


Stay well hydrated. One of the best defenses against summer heat is hydration in the form of pure, cold drinking water. Always keep water readily available for your senior loved ones and have them drink plenty of fluids even if they don’t feel thirsty.

Dress appropriately. Wear light, breezy fabrics and avoid too many synthetic materials that can trap moisture and heat.

Keep indoors during the afternoon. The hottest part of the day is between 11am and 3pm, so be sure to keep your elderly friends and family indoors during this time of day. Go to the mall or watch a movie instead of spending time outdoors.

Pull blinds and shades. Keep your home cool by pulling the blinds and shades in every room, especially rooms with direct sunlight. This will ensure a cooler environment and prevent any overheating from sunlight exposure.

Light diet. Why not enjoy some light, delicious and nutritious foods this summer? Keep heavier items like steak and meatloaf for fall and winter months, and serve cold fruits and vegetables instead. Foods heavy in protein tend to increase metabolic production, which in turn produces more body heat.

Fans. Our bodies naturally sweat to cool us down, and when a breeze hits our moist skin, nothing can feel quite as good in the sweltering heat. Fans are an excellent choice to circulate air and cool down the body.

We care about senior health and strive to provide community education to help the aging population thrive. For families who need help with their elderly loved ones, including home care placement and advice on the proper care for your senior friends and family, we may be able to assist. Please give us a call at (760) 731-1334 or log onto for more information.

Related posts:

  1. First summer heat wave hits region
  2. Heat expected to continue through weekend
  3. Taking care of elderly parents: how to assess your loved ones’ needs this holiday season
  4. To Your Health: Top 10 Summer Safety Tips
  5. July 31, National Heatstroke Prevention Day: Car-Related Heat Stroke a Serious Risk for Children in Summer Months

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Posted by Social Media Staff on Jul 23, 2013. Filed under Colleen Van Horn, Columns, Sponsored Columns. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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