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Creating a Stress-Free Summer for Seniors & Their Caregivers

Mary Jane Yoder, a registered nurse at The Martin & Edith Stein Hospice in Somerset, an agency of The Oscar & Ella Wilf Campus for Senior Living, recommends a variety of helpful tips for seniors as they travel during the summer, as well as useful advice for caregivers.

Seniors should be especially cautious in “high-heat situations,” she advises. To avoid the possibility of heat exhaustion, older adults should stay in air-conditioned surroundings such as a mall, hospital waiting rooms, their own homes or restaurants to avoid the heat. If one cannot leave the house and air-conditioning is not available, taking a cool bath or shower can help.

Family members should monitor the air quality warnings and encourage their family member to stay indoors in air conditioning during those times that air quality is reported as dangerous.

To avoid direct sun, seniors should wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen of 30 SPF or more, Yoder notes. Loose-fitting clothing in light colors and natural fabrics like cotton will be more comfortable, instead of darker colors which attract the heat.

Staying hydrated is vital. It is important to avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverage as they increase your risk of dehydration.

Use a reliable insect repellent and avoiding the outdoors during peak bug biting times at dusk and dawn To avoid poison ivy, try to stay away from shrub areas, wear high boots and socks and do not touch a plant that is unrecognizable.

For caregivers of a senior family member, the summer months are a wonderful time to enjoy rest and relaxation outside and on vacations. Taking time for yourself to rejuvenate can help you face the demands of caregiving with more patience and allow you to look forward to the next time you are able to get away for a little “R&R”.

At Martin & Edith Stein Assisted Living, short-term or respite stays provide an excellent option for caregivers to take that vacation or make that quick getaway happen. A short-term or respite stay allows the caregiver to plan that much needed and important time for themselves. And also provided peace of mind in knowing that their loved one will be in an environment that offers all their family member needs including a beautiful-well-appointed apartment with a host of recreational activities, meals, spiritual care, housekeeping, and nursing care.

For many seniors and their families, respite care can also provide an opportunity to explore whether or not a move to an assisted living community could be a long-term option, benefiting the senior as well as the caregiver.

Mary Jane Yoder and all of the members of The Oscar and Ella Wilf Campus for Senior Living team wish a safe and relaxing summer to all seniors and caregivers in our communities.

Come meet Mary Jane Yoder, RN, at our Ask The Nurse series, Tuesday’s: June 24, July 15, August 12, September 16, October 14, November 11, and December 16, 2014. Ask The Nurse a health question that’s on your mind, plus have your blood pressure checked and enjoy healthy snacks. Ask The Nurse is sponsored by Wilf Campus for Senior Living and Stein Hospice. Contact Sharon Chesir, Social Service Coordinator, for details.

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