Seniors are more fragile than younger age groups. That is why so many precautions were taken to protect seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic. That is also why caregivers pay special attention to seniors when it is extremely hot outside, such as during the recent heat wave and heat dome in British Columbia.

What is most important is keeping seniors comfortably cool and well hydrated. Caregivers will encourage outdoor activities early in the morning or in the evening when the sun starts to set and the temperature drops. Seniors need to be reminded to drink plenty of water when it’s very hot to prevent dehydration.

Any outdoor activities should be in the shade and with frequent breaks and opportunities to drink something. Also, caffeinated drinks should be avoided because they accelerate rather than prevent dehydration.

Recreational staff need to be creative to come up with plenty of activities that can be pursued inside where it is cool. Sometimes it can be several degrees cooler inside than outside. Caregivers need to be trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat injury and to react appropriately when necessary.

Seniors are more prone to heat injury because they often have a high surface area (skin) to weight ratio, and/or have medical conditions that make them more fragile. Furthermore, some medications can exacerbate heat injury.

If you have a loved one in one of our senior communities, then do not worry. Our staff are all highly trained to recognize heat injury, and they also work hard to keep all the seniors cool.

H&H Total Care Services is a privately held company based in Surrey, BC, that is a leader in providing senior and young adult residential care services. With communities in both British Columbia and Alberta, H&H Total Care Services offers a wide range of compassionate care services from independent living to long-term complex care.

If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about our range of care services, please feel free to contact us.