Review our list of summer safety tips for seniors and keep cool during the summer season
The summer season is a time of fun, relaxation, and going on new adventures for many people. It brings us warmth and a feeling of freshness. However, older adults and their caregivers may find summer difficult as it brings many risks and stress.
As people age, their ability to endure the heat becomes less pronounced. Seniors are more likely to develop heat-related illnesses due to harsh summer heat. During every summer season, more than 600 seniors encounter death caused by excessive humidity and heat in the United States.
Older adults need to maintain their health during hot weather as they are at more risk than others. Summer is more dangerous for older adults because they may have experienced aging body transformation, chronic diseases, and side effects of medications that increase the risk of heat-related illnesses.
Thankfully, you can use summer safety tips to keep yourself or your loved ones safe.
Safety Tips for Elderly People During Summer
Stay hydrated during the summer.
Elderly people are more vulnerable to dehydration than other people because they don’t recognize the need for water or feel thirsty.
There are other reasons why seniors get dehydrated easily too. Older people with chronic kidney disease, high blood pressure, or congestive heart failure use water pills that reduce the fluids in their bodies.
Medical experts advise seniors to drink plenty of water before heading out to prevent dehydration. You should drink water the whole time you spend in the sun.
Set reminders to drink water in your smartwatch or mobile phone. You can also remind your family or loved ones to drink water at regular hours! Doctors also advise drinking sports drinks if you or your loved one experience excessive sweating or diarrhea and cannot find water around.
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Stay cool during your summer workout.
For the elderly, high temperatures are life-threatening. Use your air conditioning to make your home cool throughout the summer if you love exercising indoors.
If you or your loved one don’t have AC or it is broken, you can cover the windows to block the direct sunlight during the day and open them at night to get some cool fresh air.
You can also use other methods to keep your home cooler during your summer workout, such as using a blower fan. Drink sports drinks before you start your training. Take a shower after your workout to cool down your body. Exercise in a cool room to avoid getting heatstroke.
Dress appropriately and in comfortable clothes
In summer, you should avoid wearing dark, thick clothes as they can raise your body temperature rapidly. Instead, wear lighter colors, thin clothes, and make yourself cool all the time.
You should wear clothes made of linen or cotton as they are breathable and comfortable. Wear a cap that protects you from the sun when you go outside.
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Experts advise seniors to apply a sunscreen of SPF 30 or more for at least 15 to 30 minutes on their skin before going outside under sun exposure. You should buy a sunscreen that is effective in blocking both UVA and UVB rays. Don’t forget to reapply the sunscreen after you engage in water activity.
Avoid sun exposure during peak hours.
The peak hours when the sun is nearest to earth and makes the environment hottest are between 10 am to 4 pm. Medical experts recommend you should avoid going outside during these hours as you may get heat stroke or other medical conditions.
Doctors recommend seniors plan their outdoor activities or exercise before or after peak hours. Also, keep hydrating during this peak hour if you go outside.
Eat some ice cream
Summer brings enjoyable memories for many people. It also brings the opportunity to consume food products that you can only enjoy in hot weather.
Doctors suggest eating ice cream as a nice way to stay cool during summer. You can also treat yourself or your loved one to ice cream, frozen yogurt, or a popsicle to cool down in the hot summer. Keep in mind, however, that ice cream has a lot of sugar in it, so be cautious because it can be harmful to older people.
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Direct sun rays can cause harm to your eyes. Doctors recommend avoiding sun exposure as much as possible to protect your eyes.
You should wear sunglasses that protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. You can also make your loved ones wear sunglasses when they go outside.
Be an early bird or night owl.
Perform your daily activities before noon and after evening to avoid sun exposure for as long as possible. If you need to go outside on a daily basis, then you should go outside when the sun is down. It can help you prevent developing any heat-related illness.
Use bug spray or insect repellent.
Doctors suggest seniors keep bug spray with them as they are more likely to get the West Nile virus. Use insect repellent at night to protect yourself or your loved one from virus-carrying insects.
Review your medications
Many seniors have a long-term illness and require medication every day. Doctors prescribe their senior patients the best medicine available at the time. However, some medicines have side effects that encourage the chances of getting a heat-related illness.
Some medicines make seniors super sensitive to ultraviolet rays. Review all prescribed and non-prescribed medicines with your pharmacist or doctor and ensure that your medications are safe for you.
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Watch for heatstroke or telltale hyperthermia symptoms
You should look for the signs of heatstroke and other heat-related medical conditions. Older people are more susceptible to telltale hyperthermia.
Symptoms of heatstroke include:
- High body temperature
Call 911 immediately if you notice any symptoms of heatstroke. Try giving water or drink to the person experiencing heatstroke. You can also use clothes soaked with cool water and put it on the person’s ankles, wrists, necks, and armpit to lower the temperature.
Prevent trips and falls
Seniors are more likely to lose their balance in summer due to many reasons. Seniors can fall due to dizziness from heatstroke. Keep your body cool, your surroundings safe, and wear well-fitted shoes.
What Is the Ideal Room Temperature for Seniors?
As people grow old, their skin becomes thinner and may not handle the fluctuation of temperature. A person needs to know the right room temperature for seniors that can help them adapt to the warm environment. You can read how to take care of your mature skin.
According to Age and Aging, medical experts suggest that the ideal room temperature for an elderly person is around 78 degrees. Cooling the room too much can cause a significant difference between inside and outside temperature, which is not safe for seniors.
You can keep the room temperature up to 65 degrees but not below. You can use an air conditioner and choose the ideal room temperature between 65 to 78 degrees depending on your or your loved one preference.
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Some Final Words of Advice
For the elderly, the summer season can be challenging. Follow the proper safety tips to enjoy the safe summer season without worrying about getting heart strokes.
Drink plenty of water, cool yourself, stay hydrated, and remind your family to stay hydrated during summer.
Maintain your air conditioner and use it at ideal room temperature. Many older adults cannot regulate their body temperature as their skin becomes thin. Doctors advise to spot the heat-related illness and get treated before it becomes intense.
We hope these tips and tricks to keep safe during the summer have been helpful for you or your loved ones. If you have any queries about summer safety, feel free to drop us a word, and we will get back to you soon.
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