Summer Health And Safety Tips For The Elderly
Summer is the season for backyard barbecues, picnics, family reunions and lots of other great outdoor activities, but the summer sun can also bring dangers, such as sunstroke and dehydration. As temperatures rise, it’s important for seniors to take extra precautions to stay healthy and happy.
Summer Health And Safety Tips For The Elderly
1. Drink water
Seniors have the tendency to get dehydrated easily than compared to younger’s. As, the tendency of dehydration increases with the age. Also, they are less aware of the thirst and they cannot adjust to the temperature changes. So, it is recommended that the elders should drink more water during summertime.
2. Keep yourself cool
Seniors with chronic medical conditions can expect shorter life if there is a small increment in the temperature. So, it’s recommended that they should be in a cool place or better they should be in an air conditioned place where they can relax themselves.
3. Avoid the heat of the day
Avoid spending too much time when the sun is at its highest in the sky. Instead, take your walk in the evening after the sun has started to set. Choose early morning to do yard work or tend to your garden.
Know the symptoms of hyperthermia or “heatstroke” and seek immediate medical attention
- Body temperature greater than 104 degrees
- A change in behavior, such as acting confused, agitated or grouchy
- Dry, flushed skin
- Nausea and vomiting
- Heavy breathing or a rapid pulse
- Not sweating, even if it’s hot out
4. Wear the proper dress
Dressing plays an important role at the summertime, as people prefer cotton over synthetic fibers to avoid the excess heat. So, for seniors, it’s recommended that they should wear proper dress during summertime. Also, they can prefer to wear the loose cloth and light colored to keep them comfortable and cool.
5. Use Sunscreen
Experts recommend that seniors use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, and one that’s easy to apply, such as a roll-on or spray. Also choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVB and UVA rays. Since seniors have sensitive skin, they should avoid sunscreens with alcohol, fragrances or preservatives that can cause irritation.
6. Meet Your Neighbors
Get in touch with those who live in your neighborhood and learn a bit about them and their schedules. If you are elderly, see if a younger neighbor - perhaps even one of their kids - can come by and check on you occasionally to make sure everything is all right.
7. Eye protection
Vision loss is pretty common, and exposure to sunlight causes the irritation in the eyes. Also, you should wear sunglasses to avoid UV radiations.
8. Cover up
The summer sun can be especially damaging to senior skin. If you’re planning to spend a lot of time in direct sunlight, be sure to dress appropriately - light weight clothing that covers arms and legs, a wide brim hat to protect the head and keep the sun off the neck.
9. Exercise wisely
If you enjoy outdoor activities such as walking or gardening, make sure to wear the proper clothing and protective gear. It is also important to keep track of time. Do not stay out for long periods and make sure to drink even more water than usual when exercising. Also consider getting outdoor exercise earlier in the morning or later in the evening when the sun is not at its peak.
10. Stay in Air-Conditioned Environments as Much as Possible
During extreme heat, seniors should have access to air conditioning, and fans should not be relied upon as a primary cooling device. Always have their air conditioning unit checked before hot weather arrives to make sure it works properly. If they do not have air conditioning, make sure he or she has a place to go in the event of extreme heat, like a local mall, library, or other public place. Local cooling centers are often set up in major cities during heat waves.
11. Take a Dip in the Pool
Swimming is one of the smartest ways to beat the summer heat. Not only does it keep you cool, but it is also a great form of exercise. Regardless of what age you are, you can still enjoy cooling off in the pool. On days that are overwhelmingly hot, make a trip to the community pool and spend a few hours in the water. If you don’t have access to a pool, taking a refreshing bath, shower or even cooling off with a damp washcloth on your forehead is a great way to keep your cool in the summer heat.
12. Consult your doctor
You should consult to your doctor during summertime, if you don’t have air conditioning in your home. As, some of the medications become less effective during summertime and even less aggravated.
Prepare a list of emergency phone numbers and place them in an easy to access area. This way, the right people can be called to help quickly preventing any further issues or preventing medical problems from getting worse.