Safety for Seniors: 7 Tips to Beat the Heat and Prepare for Risky Spring Weather

Nancy Snyder

Aging, Senior Living

Southwest Michigan’s vibrant spring and summer seasons bring joy to Michiganders and visitors to Kalamazoo, but quickly changing temperatures (it’s a Michigan thing) and long hot summers could mean potential dangers for older adults.

Staying Safe In the Heat

  1. Stay Hydrated: Seniors often lose their thirst sensation with age. Encourage regular fluid intake throughout the year, even if they don’t feel thirsty. Offer water, sugar-free electrolyte drinks, or cool fruit slices. Keep a reusable water bottle handy and remind them to refill it frequently.
  2. Beat the Heat: The hottest part of the summer day (usually 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) is riskiest. Encourage seniors to stay indoors with air conditioning during these times. Public libraries, community centers, and air-conditioned malls offer cool refuges. 
  3. Schedule Outdoor Activities Wisely: Plan walks, gardening, or errands for cooler mornings or evenings in both spring and summer. Encourage breaks in shaded areas and limit strenuous activity. Consider investing in a lightweight, portable misting fan for added comfort during summer outings, and warm clothing for spring ventures.
  4. Know the Signs of Heatstroke and Take Action: Be aware of heatstroke symptoms (high body temperature, dizziness, nausea, confusion, rapid heartbeat). If a senior experiences these signs, get them to a cool place, remove excess clothing, and provide fluids for heatstroke. 

Spring and summer also present unique risks to loved ones living in their own homes with unpredictable weather patterns in SW Michigan, including tornados and strong straight-line winds. Recent storms in Portage, Mich. showed us just how stressful severe weather episodes can be for families with senior loved ones living here. 

Peace of Mind During Risky Weather

  1. Stay Weather Aware: National Weather Service Kalamazoo/Battle Creek Forecast Office: This is the official source for weather information from the U.S. government. They provide detailed forecasts, watches, warnings, and radar imagery specific to Kalamazoo. You can access their website or download their mobile app.
  2. Monitor Local News Media: Many local Kalamazoo news outlets, including television stations, radio stations, and online publications, have dedicated weather sections. These often include up-to-date forecasts, weather alerts, and live weather radar.
  3. Make a Safety Plan: For spring storms, follow local news and weather alerts, and have a designated safe space in the home, like a basement or interior room on the lowest floor, away from windows and doors.

Consider partnering with a non-medical home care companion if you need to make sure a loved one stays safe in their own home. As Kalamazoo moves into spring and summer, those seasons bring the threat of heatstroke or overheating. Here are a few ways to beat the heat!

Caring Companions Kalamazoo offers a variety of companion and homecare services to support seniors, including medication reminders, assistance with errands, and companionship during outings. A home care companion can provide a critical extra layer of support to ensure your loved one stays safe and hydrated throughout the year, offering peace of mind during any season. 

Need someone to help out  right away? Call Nancy at 269-204-6537.

Tags

Senior Safety, Summer Heat, Spring Weather, Kalamazoo, MI, Home Care, Caregiver Tips.  

#BeatTheHeat, #SpringSafety, #SeniorCare, #KalamazooSeniors