As I write this, I am enjoying ample air conditioning, after almost 3 days of no air conditioning at the office. Yes, our only 3-year old air conditioner went out last Friday, and was not repaired until late yesterday. With the prospect of 100+ degree temperatures for the next week, it’s time to take a moment and make sure that your older adult friends and family members are cool and comfortable.
Many older adults are cold natured, and it’s not unusual to go into an older adult’s home and find it quite warm, with the thermostat set in the 80’s. As long as the thermostat is set, and the air conditioner does come on when it gets too hot, all is well. But if something goes wrong, then the house could dangerously hot before the older adult realizes it. That coupled with the fact that a lot of older adults already skirt dehydration (due to diuretics, stress incontinence, etc.), and there could be a hospitalization in a matter of hours.
So, make sure thermostats are working, get fans if necessary, encourage liquids, and check on people frequently to prevent more serious problems.