Summer Health and Safety Tips for SeniorsJuly 23, 2018
Summer is here! While the sunshine is beautiful, the extra heat does pose health risks. However, that doesn’t mean that seniors can’t enjoy the gorgeous summer weather, too! Help keep your loved ones safe with these summer safety tips for seniors.
The number one way to combat the heat is to drink plenty of water throughout the day. As you get older, the ability to sweat becomes more difficult, making it harder to sense when you’re dehydrated. Dehydration causes several symptoms, such as dizziness and dark, concentrated urine. An easy rule to follow is to drink eight, 8-ounce glasses of water a day.
Limit Your Exposure
Avoiding the sun and heat is the preferable method in preventing heat exhaustion, but many summer activities involve being outdoors. Don’t underestimate what your clothes can do for you, as they are the best barrier from the sun. Wear breatheable, loose-fitting clothes that cover your skin and have a favorite wide-brimmed hat to shield your scalp, ears, and face. Another good way to stay cool is to move any exercise and outdoor activities to the mornings or evenings instead of the middle of the day.
Protect Yourself from the Elements
Summer presents an increase in UV exposure and insects. Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 anytime you go outdoors. In addition, use bug spray to avoid mosquito bites that can cause other illnesses, like West Nile virus, which is harder for people over 50 to fight off. Your eyes are also at risk, so invest in a pair of sunglasses with 100% UV protection.
Be Conscious of Medications
Some medications can cause additional issues in the summer. These medications are known as beta-blockers, which slow the heart rate, restricting circulation and decreasing the ability to cool down quickly. Be cautious about the side effects of your medications before going outdoors.
Even with precautions, the heat can still cause health issues, such as heat stroke. It’s important to keep an ICE (in case of emergency) card with you that includes your name and a list of medical conditions, medications, and contact information for loved ones and a primary care provider. It’s also smart to have family and friends close by to check in with you on occasion; the friendly company is a plus!
If you have any questions about senior health or about senior care options, we’d love to talk to you. Explore our many different senior living communities and contact us to set up a time to talk. Stay safe and cool out there!
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