Whether you’re eight or eighty, everyone loves a little fun in the sun. Unfortunately, the high temperatures and radiant sunlight in summertime can cause health concerns as well. To enjoy the season without putting your health and safety at risk, you will need to take a few precautions and prepare yourself accordingly. Summer safety for seniors involves advice that applies to people of all ages, but the dangers are often more severe for the elderly. Before you head out into the scorching summer sun, scroll down for some helpful tips and tricks.
Summer Safety for Seniors
Drink Plenty of Water. Hydration is always important, but during the summer (when you’re more likely to sweat) it is absolutely essential that you drink plenty of water throughout the day. Sometimes seniors’ bodies have difficulty conserving water or acknowledging thirst, so try to keep water nearby at all times, especially if you’re spending time outside.
Keep Your Cool. If you live in an area with extreme summertime heat, don’t take long walks or remain outside for long periods of time. Stay in the air conditioning as much as possible, and don’t venture out alone (especially if you don’t have a cell phone or a personal emergency response system). Hyperthermia, also known as heat stroke, is a grave and life-threatening condition. If you begin to feel nauseous, flushed, feverish, or faint, seek help. You may need medical attention.
Learn About Your Medications. High temperatures can affect some medications, so be sure to ask your doctor if you should expect any changes. Your body may be more sensitive to heat, or you may need to store your medication in a cooler place if you don’t have air conditioning.
Dress Carefully. Wearing a heavy sweater in August isn’t just uncomfortable; it could be a health hazard as well. To prevent heat stroke and protect your skin and eyes, be sure to wear lightweight and natural fabrics (like cotton), a hat to protect your head (especially if your hair is thinning), and sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.
Slather on Sunscreen. It doesn’t matter how old you are—everyone needs to wear sunscreen on a sunny day. Ask a friend, family member, or caregiver for help applying the sunscreen if you need it. You can also use spray sunscreens for easier access and thorough coverage. In addition, as we mentioned in the last tip, don’t forget to protect your head! If you’re bald or your hair is thin and light, cover up with a hat, which will also provide shade for your eyes.
There is no reason why you can’t have a safe, satisfying, and fun-filled summer! Simply follow these tips, listen to your body’s signals, and embrace the season. After all, it’ll be over before you know it!
Are you looking for an assisted living facility in Tennessee? If so, be sure to check out Hearthside Senior Living Place. We have two locations—one in Collierville and one soon to open in Bartlett— and we would be happy to schedule a tour for you so that you can explore your preferred facility, meet some of the residents, and ask any questions you might have. We look forward to meeting you!