Welcome summer! This year we have enjoyed a mostly beautiful and uncharacteristically warm spring. The predictions seem to indicate the summer of 2016 will once again be warmer and drier than normal. What does this mean for us, and how does it affect the work that we do?
Number one, many if not most of our clients live in homes without air conditioning. That means they get warm, sometimes very warm. Older adults who do not move around much may not even recognize how warm their house has become, or that their own body temperature has risen. It is important for everyone to drink more water in warm weather, and even more important for people who are in warm environments. Our nurses and caregivers are constantly reminding clients to increase fluids. Keeping a water bottle or pitcher of water nearby helps clients remember to drink.
Our employees spend hours each day driving, getting in and out of their car, and going in and out of warm homes where they are working hard to provide care that may include bathing, housework, and cooking. All of these activities generate more heat and may cause you to become overheated. It is important for everyone to drink more fluids during these warm days. Carrying water bottles and taking frequent short water breaks is a good way to stay healthy and energetic.
Bright sun can cause glare and eye strain while driving, and our employees drive a lot! Wearing sunglasses and using the car visor helps avoid vision difficulties and keeps you safe on the road.
People and animals can severely burn their feet when walking on hot pavement. Did you know that when the temperature reaches just 77 degrees pavement in the sun can top 125 degrees? 85 degrees and the pavement may be 145! Protect your feet, and those who you care for, by wearing shoes and keeping pets away from sidewalks, streets, and parking lots. If you’re walking with a client, or walking a pet, try to stay in shaded areas and keep off hot surfaces.
Sunscreen is important for everyone, even if you’re not in direct sunlight. The number one cause of skin cancer is sun exposure; sunscreen with high SPF (15 or higher) and avoiding direct sunlight during the hottest time of the day (between 10am and 4pm) is good practice.
Taking these precautions will help everyone stay safe and enjoy this beautiful season in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest!