During these hot days you often hear it’s important to check on the elderly. But they don’t tell you why! With my mom and my mother-in-law in their 90’s I’m learning why.
1. One of the biggest problems is that older people get dehydrated. Younger people forget to drink enough water too, but the complications for the elderly can be extreme, requiring hospitalization for weeks at a time. It can even cause death for some. Remind them to drink water and not just liquids. Everyone should drink 2 liters or 32 ounces of water a day. If you get a water pitcher that holds that much & keep it in the refrigerator, it helps an older person get in the habit of drinking enough water in a day. We did that with my mom and it is something she can remember even though she has general memory problems.
2. Check to see if they are keeping the air conditioning on. Some will turn it off to save money. I even know someone who turned it off because it was making the tv hard to hear.
3. Ask if they need anything from the store, including groceries. It’s too hot for them to get out for those things.
4. Even if you just talk to them on the phone, talk for a little while to assess their mental state. If they are too hot or are getting dehydrated they sometimes sound confused. Any unusual confusion should be taken as a sign that they need medical attention right away.
Hopefully no one you know will have health consequences from the heat, but it is a real problem for many. If you have elderly relatives or neighbors, be a good Samaritan and check on them during these hot days.
And drink your water too! Two liters a day. You’ll feel better and handle the heat better as well.