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Eight Summer Nutrition and Hydration Tips For Seniors

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​With the temperatures starting to climb for the summer months, knowing the difference between Heat Exhaustion (need to cool off & rest) and Heat Stroke (life-threatening) to determine if a senior needs immediate medical attention or simply needs help cooling off is vital for a CAREGiver:

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion:  headache, blurred vision, nausea, upset stomach, ashen appearance, low blood pressure, vomiting, sluggishness, fatigue, thirst, rapid weak heartbeat, profuse sweating and moderate increase in body temperature.

Symptoms of Heat Stroke: headache, dizziness, elevated or lowered blood pressure, disorientation, agitation, confusion, sluggishness, fatigue, seizures, hot dry skin, fainting, loss of consciousness, increased body temperature, rapid heartbeat and hallucinations.

Excessive heat makes all of our bodies work harder, here are some tips a CAREGiver can use to ensure seniors are receiving the nutrition they need while staying hydrated:
    1    Create some pre-made healthy snacks—cut up some fruit and vegetables in ready-to-eat small portions.  Celery, cucumbers, green peppers, carrots, watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes, and strawberries are full of water to ensure seniors are staying hydrated as well as being nutritious.
    2    Prepare lighter meals that are pre-cooked. Include some lean proteins for energy.
    3    Prepare smoothies to replace meals if your senior doesn’t feel like eating.  Be sure to add spinach (for protein) and light yogurt instead of ice cream.
    4    Drink water— or consider some flavored waters, teas, or juices. However, limit the caffeine intake as that can dehydrate a person!
    5    Set aside some loose fitting, light clothes so not to restrict a senior’s movement and to make them feel more comfortable in higher temperatures.
    6    Limit sun exposure during 10am & 3pm
    7    If a senior is over-heating, apply cool water to the skin and fan the wet skin. You can also apply ice cubes wrapped in a towel to the head, neck, and arm pits to cool down faster.
    8    If there is no air conditioning available, consider purchasing a fan for their room, and encourage the person to lie down & rest.


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