Summer Heat and Caregiving

 In Mental Health & Wellbeing

The dog days of summer can complicate caregiving.  Seniors and vulnerable adults with medical challenges, cognitive diseases, dementia or Alzheimer’s, are sensitive to temperature extremes– high summer temps or overly air-conditioned rooms.  The result presents as low motivation, appetite and activity levels. Here are some ways to keep up with your loved one’s needs this summer: 

Use mobile health care. During milder weather, getting out of the house for appointments provides stimulation and social interaction. But in the sizzling summer months, take advantage of home health practitioners who make house calls, mobile labs and other services. Postpone non-essential appointments. 

Bring in friends, services & exercise. Invite friends over for meals or short visits, so both care receiver and caregiver have opportunities to socialize with others. Hire in-home physical therapists, massage therapists and exercise trainers.   

Watch fluid intake. Even with staying inside, increased fluids are still necessary. Seniors often don’t feel thirsty, so remind your loved one to sip water (but watch sugar intake).  Insulated cups ensure that drinks stay cooler and straws seem to encourage more drinking.  (Adapted from AARP by Amy Goyer, 2014.)   

For more resources on family caregiving and pastoral care, contact Leah Harris at 408-997-5110. 


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