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How to Keep Seniors Cool in Hot Weather: 10 Tips

stay cool in hot weather

Seniors are at risk for heat stroke during hot weather

Seniors need to be more aware of overheating and heat stroke because their bodies don’t adjust to high temperatures as well and they’re also more likely to be dehydrated.

Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia are at even greater risk because they may not be aware that they’re overheating or know what to do to cool down.

In fact, 36% of heat-related deaths in the U.S. were among people over age 65, according to a CDC report.

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


Why seniors are more vulnerable to heat

In hot weather, it’s best for older adults to stay indoors and avoid strenuous activities because:

  1. Their bodies don’t adjust as well to sudden changes in temperature.

  2. Chronic medical conditions can change their body responses to heat.

  3. Prescription medicines can impair the body’s ability to regulate temperature or could actually prevent sweating.

10 ways to keep seniors cool in hot weather

  1. Drink plenty of cool water throughout the day (don’t wait until they feel thirsty) and avoid alcohol and caffeine.

  2. Eat cooling snacks like homemade popsicles that are light on sugar (Tip: catch drips with a cupcake liner), frozen peas, or slightly frozen grapes.

  3. Eat light, cold meals like chicken or pasta salad instead of heavy, hot dishes like pot roast.

  4. Place a cool washcloth on the back of the neck and 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 and using inexpensive mylar solar curtains.

  7. Wear layers of lightweight clothing in light-colored, breathable fabrics like cotton so it’s easy to adjust to the temperature throughout the day by removing or adding layers.

  8. Visit a public cooling center like a recreation center, senior center, library, coffee shop, or shopping mall.

  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 – always use a towel to protect fragile senior skin from direct contact with the ice.

Note: If extreme heat is expected to last for weeks, consider buying a portable or window-mounted indoor air conditioning unit. Or contact a local air conditioning store or chain store like Rent-A-Center to find out about their rental options.

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By DailyCaring Editorial Team Image: Paradise Living Centers

This article wasn’t sponsored, but does contain affiliate links. We never link to products for the sole purpose of making a commission. Product recommendations are based on our honest opinions. For more information, see How We Make Money.


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