Summertime is upon us and for many it brings to mind swimming pools filled with laughing children and strolls along windswept beaches. While the elderly may also revel in the months of sun, laughter, and backyard barbecues, there are specific precautions that are particularly important to adhere to as one ages.
Aging skin loses its elasticity and grows thinner due to the diminished production of elastin and collagen. The effects of UV radiation can be felt more quickly and to a greater degree. In addition, medications they may be taking such as some of those for high blood pressure or cholesterol as well as anti-fungal and antidepressants may increase their skin’s sensitivity to sun exposure.
As a family caregiver, you can help by choosing the right sunscreen for their sensitive skin. Make sure it provides broad spectrum protection from both UVB and UVA rays. Have them apply it at least 30 minutes before going out and every two hours if in the water. Keep their hat and sunglasses by the door as a reminder to put them on before heading out into the summer sun.
As the thermometer rises, it becomes increasingly important to remember to stay hydrated. Dehydration is a particular risk for seniors because, as the body ages, the thirst signal seems to diminish. They are also more prone to heat stroke due to the aging body’s lessening ability to regulate its internal temperature.
As a family caregiver, it’s important to be aware of the signs to look for that may suggest your parent is overheating. These include a change in behavior, dry/flushed skin, headache, lack of sweat, nausea and vomiting. These symptoms require prompt medical attention and a quick cool-down. Get a nice water bottle for your parent that has an inside chamber for ice, and then remind them of the importance of taking it with them whenever they leave the house. When it’s really hot, suggest that they plan outside activities such as gardening either early in the day or late in the afternoon. A family caregiver should ideally check on their parent a few times a day, even if it’s just a quick call to ensure their welfare.
A home care provider can offer assistance and care when you, as the family caregiver, are unable to be with your parent. They not only help with the daily tasks of living, they also provide transportation and accompany your parent on social outings. They can offer those gentle reminders your parent may need to stay safe as temperatures soar.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in Santa Rosa, CA, call At Your Service Home Care. Call today! (707) 573-1003
She became a discharge planner and immediately fell in love with the concept of home care and the autonomous clinical practice it affords nurses. Dr. Lucy was hooked and has been a strong supporter of home care ever since.Believing people need advocates in healthcare systems, she has championed that cause across the acute care and post-acute care setting.
Dr. Lucy has worked in every aspect of home care from Medicare Certified, DME, Infusion, Hospice and finally Private Duty/Private Pay services. She also works as a home care consultant across the country and as a legal nurse consultant for the home care industry.
Having worked in all areas of home care, Dr. Lucy has a well-rounded perspective of the challenges facing patients, families and the home care industry, and as a provider she advocates for patients through the maze of health care services. Dr. Lucy celebrated over 37 years as a nurse and patient advocate.
Dr. Lucy has a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois.In 1994, she received her Masters of Science in Health Service Administration from St. Mary's University, Moraga, California. Dr. Lucy received her Doctor of Nursing Practice awarded in 2016, graduating with Distinction and a 4.0 GPA.
She did her doctoral work on the global dementia crisis, aging and prevention strategies for healthy living. Developed dementia and Alzheimer's disease plans for aging patients leaving the hospital setting or entering long-term care or home health and hospice environments. She also developed a specialized program for those at risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
In 1992, Dr. Lucy was designated CAHSAH Certified Home Care Administrator in the inaugural offering of this designation through the California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).
She is the founder and CEO of Creative Solutions Home Care Consulting Services and At Your Service Nursing & Home Care, a concierge nursing & home care agency that provides the services she believes are essential for seniors to age in place.She offers a higher level of care allowing people to be in their own homes with an emphasis on independence, safety, and quality of life.
Dr. Lucy is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) and sits on the Board of Directors for California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).
She has served on the boards for both state and national board associations, and is currently on the following boards and committees: Board of Directors, California State Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH), 2002-present, National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC's) Private Duty Home Care Association Director, and multiple state and national home care committees.
Dr. Lucy goes to Washington, DC, several times a year to advocate for senior services and home care issues. She was past Commissioner for the Sonoma Commission on Human Rights.She is past chair of the local Senior Advocacy Services.
Latest posts by Lucy Andrews DNP, RN, MS (see all)
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