Veterans Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit
Summer heat can be extreme in certain parts of the country and if the elderly veteran doesn’t have air conditioning in their home, it may be time to sit down and talk to them about at least getting a window air conditioning unit. For veterans in their 70s, 80s, or even their 90s, summertime can be a potentially dangerous situation.
There are also a number of other things to consider when it comes to summertime heat, aging veterans, and home care.
1. An elderly individual’s body doesn’t cool as well as it used to.
It becomes more difficult to keep the body cool as a person gets older. Not only is their immune system becoming weaker, but the body doesn’t perspire the same way it used to. Perspiration is the body’s defense mechanism against increasing temperatures around it. If the aging veteran doesn’t have assistance at home, he may not know that his body is becoming overheated until he experiences heat exhaustion which can lead to heat stroke, a potentially fatal situation.
2. They should stay properly hydrated.
One of the best ways to remain cool is to stay in air conditioning on the hottest part of the day. If the elderly veteran doesn’t have air conditioning and can’t afford it, there are usually local shelters where they can go to remain cool. This is especially important during an active heat wave.
They also need to stay properly hydrated, meaning drinking at least eight glasses of water every day. If the veteran is taking certain prescription medications, that can also dehydrate them, requiring them to drink even more water. They should consult their doctor to find out exactly how much water they should be consuming on a daily basis.
3. Direct sunlight is going to heat them up even more.
Even if the veteran is sitting in their house with some air conditioning running, if they are sitting in the direct sunlight as it penetrates into the home during the early morning or late evening hours, it can be heating up their body. They should be encouraged to sit somewhere else or at least get out of the sun after 15 minutes of direct exposure. Their skin could get burned, their body could heat up, and they can deal with a number of other serious potential issues as a result.
Any aging veteran who has difficulty tending to their own basic care should also consider a professional home care aide who can help them cope with the summertime heat.
For more information and to learn about Veterans Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit, contact Veteran’s Home Care at (888) 314-6075.