2021 | Edition 3
Summer has certainly arrived in St. Louis. That means longer days, Cardinals Baseball and heat, heat, heat! This newsletter (as many of our summer editions do) includes an article to help everyone safely enjoy the summertime.
In addition to enjoying some time outdoors, it's so nice to start seeing others and gather responsibly thanks to increasing Coronavirus vaccinations and continued safety practices. We love seeing some smiling faces again!
We are very excited about our recently introduced SHC Academy Caregiver Training program, which allows caregivers to grow their skillset and career potential at Seniors Home Care. We consistently receive feedback about the importance of quality, hands-on training. This program gives caregivers the opportunity to learn (and earn) more. We're confident this program will improve caregiver and client experiences at SHC.
We wish everyone a happy and healthy summer!
Yours in Service,
Kit & Ryan Whittington
Summer Safety Tips for Seniors
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seniors are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses and injury. When we age, our bodies become less efficient at regulating temperature because older adults do not sweat as much as younger adults, and sweat is the body’s most important heat-regulating mechanism. Older adults also store fat differently, which can further complicate heat regulation in the body.
Therefore, seniors have health risks that need to be monitored, especially in the heat of the summer. Below are tips to stay safe and healthy in the rising temperatures of the summer months.
Drink eight or more glasses of water and/or fruit juices every day to stay hydrated. Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated beverages such as soda, coffee and tea as they can leave you dehydrated quickly. Increase your intake if you are doing any physical activity or if the weather is particularly hot.
Stay indoors during extreme heat.
In extreme heat and high humidity, evaporation slows down and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature. Keep in mind, the sun is the most intense between 10 am and 4 pm. If you can, limit your outdoor activity to the morning and the evening.
Stay in an air-conditioned place.
Air-conditioning is important when it is hot and humid outside. If you do not have air-conditioning in your home, go somewhere that does.
Know the weather forecast and dress appropriately.
The best clothing to wear in the summertime is loose-fitting and lightweight clothes in natural, breathable fabrics like cotton. Dress in light colors that will reflect the sun and heat instead of darker colors that will attract them.
Protect your skin and eyes.
Wearing sunglasses can block your eyes from harmful UV rays and protect your vision. When outdoors, protect your skin from damage by wearing hats, sunglasses and a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher and that protects against both UVA and UVB radiation.
Know the side effects of your prescriptions.
Some medications can cause increased sensitivity to the sun. Look over your medications and talk with your doctor about any concerns or questions you have.
Know the early signs of heat-related illnesses such as dehydration, heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and hyperthermia.
Signs to look for may include disorientation, dry skin, excessive tiredness, headache, lethargy, nausea, a flushed face, high body temperature, rapid pulse, dizziness and confusion. Take immediate action if you feel any symptoms coming on.
Maintain communication with friends, family, caregivers and emergency contacts.
Prepare a list of emergency phone numbers and place them in an easy-to-access area in case needed.
As a caregiver or loved one, you can help seniors beat the heat by:
- Visiting often.
- Watching for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
- Making sure they have access to air conditioning.
- Helping them limit their exposure to the sun.
- Making sure they are getting enough fluids to keep them hydrated and have a normal body temperature.
6 Ideas to Get Seniors to Drink More Water
Dehydration is a common and serious health problem for seniors
Preventing dehydration is important because it can cause serious health issues and is a common cause of hospitalization in people over age 65.
Being properly hydrated is also needed for certain medications to work.
To help stay hydrated, try these 6 creative tips for drinking more water.
Use these ideas as a starting point
Everyone has different habits, preferences, and health conditions, so be creative and try different ideas until you find ones that work for you.
It’s also essential to check with your doctor if you have questions about how a creative technique could affect your health.
1. Remember that there are many sources of fluids
People don’t have to drink only plain water to get hydrated. Coffee, tea, fruit juice, sweetened beverages, fruits, and vegetables all contain water.
2. Keep water close by at all times
Sometimes, making it easy to serve yourself can encourage you to drink more water.
Try keeping a lightweight pitcher of water and a cup near your favorite seat to make it quick and convenient to take a drink.
3. Experiment with beverages at different temperatures
You may prefer hot drinks to cold, or the other way around. Experiment to find out which type you like better.
4. Try something savory
Those who like savory foods may enjoy drinking hot soup broth instead of a sweet or neutral tasting beverage. For convenience, the broth could come from a can, box, or powder.
5. Make popsicles
Homemade popsicles made from fruit juice or a mix of juice and water are a great treat and a great way to get more fluids.
6. Offer smoothies, milkshakes, Ensure, sports drinks
Some stubborn folks may really resist drinking fluids. Try enticing them with smoothies, milkshakes, Ensure, or sports drinks even if they’re not the healthiest choices. If they like the flavor or texture of these options, they may be more willing to drink them regularly.
Get to Know…Shellita Jackson, Care Coordinator
Chances are good you’ve spoken with Shellita. She first joined SHC as a caregiver in 2014 and made the move to our office staff in 2016. As a member of our Care Coordinators Department, Shellita handles scheduling matters and matches caregiver personalities and skillsets to client needs. In addition to her office duties, Shellita is part of the after-hours on-call team.
Fun facts about Shellita:
- Favorite TV series are The Handmaid’s Tales and Little Fires Everywhere
- Bucket list includes visiting Africa
- Most proud of her two children, who have moved to San Diego and are doing well
- Currently reading Dear Beautiful and The Sun Down Motel
- Afraid of spiders and snakes
- Favorite city is San Diego because of the beaches
- Is an only child
- Favorite cartoon character is Minnie Mouse
Weighted Utensils Set
Ease meal time for those with hand tremors.
- Each utensil weighs approximately 7 oz.
- Great for individuals with Parkinson's disease and hand tremors
- Dishwasher safe
- Includes one of each: fork, knife, and teaspoon
We were most pleased with the quality of the regular caregivers in my home. Each one performed as expected and then went above and beyond. When changes had to be made, the office helped with subs. Each caregiver had her strengths and was willing to adjust to me. I was very pleased with the services of SHC.