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Spring and Summer Health Concerns in Seattle | Fedelta Home Care, Seattle WA

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April 19, 2016

Spring and Summer Health Concerns in Seattle

Summer Sun Protection

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Spring and summer seasons are an exciting time in Seattle, especially because we are just getting out of the rainy, cold, and dark winter months. The sunshine can bring more happiness, comfort, and positive energy to people helping with many winter time blues, however the changing of seasons can also bring different health concerns to the forefront. We want to inform you of common concerning health woes to be aware of as we head into the warmer seasons.

Seasonal Health Concerns in Seattle:

  • Asthma Attacks – Do you suffer from asthma? Did you know that asthma can be more severe as weather and air quality change? As we head into the spring and summer months different things will impact our asthma triggers. Some common triggers that appear more often during the warmer months include increased air pollution, high pollen levels, and mold issues with added humidity. It is always wise for someone with asthma to carry their rescue inhaler with them at all times, however to be more cautious of asthma triggers and symptoms during this time of the year. Seattle often benefits from our rainy weather helping to clear out pollution and pollen, however we do have streaks of warm air, no rain, and a lack of wind to move the air and clear out those asthma-related triggers.

  • Heat Stroke or Exhaustion – In Seattle we don’t see extremely high temperatures during the springtime, however we have seen some pretty warm days already during the month of April. As we start heading into the summer months and with the lack of homes that have air conditioning we really want to caution seniors to understand the concerns with heat stroke and heat exhaustion. As we age our body has a harder time adjusting to temperatures causing more heat related health concerns. If your body temperature rises and the body is unable to produce sweat to cool down, there may be a concern for a heat stroke. If your body temperature is above average, you have red and dry skin, you have a rapid pulse, and throbbing headache accompanied by dizziness and nausea it is important to call a medical professional immediately. To avoid heat related complications be sure to stay hydrated and during the stretches of hot, dry, and stagnant weather consider finding a place to relax with air conditioning.

  • Heat Rashes/Sun Burns/Sun Exposure – While many think that living in Seattle means we are not susceptible to sun burns or heat rashes, they are only fooling themselves. Seattle’s summers do get hot and can be a risk to elderly who are not careful out in the sunshine. Sun exposure brings many concerns including sun burns, heat rashes, and harm to eyes. As we age our skin becomes thinner causing an even higher risk of sun burns, increasing cancer risks, swelling, fluid-filled blisters, skin that is hot or painful. The sun can also be harmful to our eyes and can increase the risk of cataracts or macular degeneration. In order to enjoy the sunshine and prevent any burns it is important to apply a sunscreen of at least 30 SPF several times throughout the day, to find a good pair of sunglasses that will protect your eyes from UV rays, and to wear clothing that can also protect your skin from too much sun exposure.

  • Dehydration – Most people have at least heard at one point or another that it is important to drink several glasses of water a day in order to stay hydrated. Hydration helps with maintaining your body temperature, removing waste, lubricating joints, and more. While most people don’t drink enough water in a day do not see symptoms of dehydration, there is an added risk for elderly and especially during the summer months. During the summer our bodies are more prone to losing more water as we sweat more and are trying to keep our body cool from the heat. Early signs of dehydration are dry skin, tiredness, and headaches, however more serious symptoms will be rapid pulse, dark urine, sunken eyes, irritability or irrational behavior. If you are caring for a loved one who may be more vulnerable to dehydration make sure to encourage them to drink several glasses of water, or include more vegetables and soups into their diet. If an elderly loved one tries to push back on the water try adding lemon, cucumber, or lime to the water for a different taste.

It is important to understand the health risks that are associated with changing seasons and to make sure that proper care is added so your loved one is not admitted to the hospital. It may be hard to make sure that your loved one is following these tips and therefore it may be wise to enlist some additional help. Having a caregiver around to make sure that your loved one is protected from the sun and heat during the warmer months will allow you to rest easy. Start with a conversation, ask them what they are eating and drinking to stay hydrated, ask if they are covering their skin when they go outside, and make sure that they are keeping track of their rescue inhalers if they have allergies or asthma as a health concern. 

If you need help or would like to speak with a care manager about setting up some care for your loved one, please reach out to us here at Fedelta. We have Care Managers that specialize in geriatric care and can make sure that your loved one is safe this summer. 

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