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Elderly Particularly Vulnerable to Dangers of Heat Waves, Independa Chief Medical Officer Warns
Date:8/3/2011

Caregivers Can Help

Della Penna is calling on caregivers to act now, using technology for virtual communication and monitoring if they don't live nearby or are away on vacation.

"New technology allows remote caregivers to be proactive and be notified of possible danger signs," he says.

Della Penna recommends the following measures for caregivers:

  • Monitor weather reports, and reach out to care recipients when the weather forecast calls for a heat wave, so you can help them plan. Independa customers currently can arrange to receive alerts tied to outside temperatures, for example if the temperature hits 90 degrees, and can monitor care recipients' local weather conditions from their software dashboard.
  • Encourage elders to wear light, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Advise older people to drink water or juice throughout the day. Independa's telecare reminder platform can be programmed to send recipients reminders to drink fluids at regular intervals.
  • Encourage care recipients to use air conditioning or fans in their homes, or to move to cooler environments in friends' homes, cooling centers or other public places. If necessary, prearrange for transportation.
  • Suggest minimizing activities that generate heat in the home, including cooking with the stove or oven.
  • Recommend avoiding strenuous exercise.
  • Speak with a care recipient's physician about medications and ask about possible short-term changes, for example, to guard against dehydration.

"Taking advantage of technology benefits care receivers and caregivers," Della Penna says. "By providing tips for the elderly and helping them plan for hot temperatures, caregivers can empower those in their care to protect themselves. Caregivers can also use technology to 'see' into their loved ones' or patients' homes and intervene if something doesn't seem quite right."

Della Penna is guiding Indepen
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SOURCE Independa
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