However, it’s important to be mindful of the potential risks that summer can pose for seniors, especially considering recent weather extremes. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, Omaha is expected to experience hotter and drier conditions than usual this summer. Additionally, being located in Tornado Alley, Nebraska sees a higher frequency of tornadoes between May and August.
Thankfully, safety remains the utmost priority at Ovation Heartwood Preserve throughout the year, including the summer season. “Coming up on this summer season, we’re making sure that we educate all residents and staff so that everyone knows what to do in the event of extreme weather,” says Collette Mieres, Executive Director of assisted living at Ovation Heartwood Preserve.
Here are some valuable tips to ensure the well-being of residents during the summer months:
1. Stay informed
Collette advises residents and staff to stay updated on the latest weather forecasts. Every department within the community is equipped with weather radios to receive continuous public broadcasts of weather reports and forecasts. Ovation Heartwood Preserve also provides residents with informational flyers on disaster preparedness.
2. Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated is crucial for seniors, particularly on hot days when the risk of dehydration is higher. Collette recommends drinking plenty of fluids, especially for those engaging in physical activities. Increasing water intake is a simple yet effective way for seniors to prioritize their well-being.
3. Dress appropriately and protect your skin
Wearing light-colored and loose-fitting clothing helps reflect the sun’s rays and allows the body to regulate heat more efficiently. This helps reduce the risk of heat-related conditions such as heatstroke and exhaustion. Applying sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher to exposed skin is also essential for protection against harmful UV rays.
4. Review prescriptions
Seniors often take medications that can affect the body’s ability to regulate temperature and perspire. It is advisable to check with healthcare professionals or pharmacists regarding any potential effects of prescription medicines. Certain medications, such as diuretics, sedatives, and specific heart and high blood pressure drugs, may make it more challenging for seniors’ bodies to stay cool.
5. Seek assistance when needed
The team at Ovation Heartwood Preserve’s assisted living and memory care communities are ready to support residents in maintaining their safety during the summer. Whether it’s applying sunscreen or addressing concerns about balance and stability, residents are encouraged to reach out for assistance. Physical therapy services can also be arranged to promote well-being.