Summer is a season filled with fun and enjoyment. Picnics, barbecue parties, road trips- there are so many fun outdoor activities to enjoy that you can’t in the winter.
It’s a season that, despite giving warmth, brings bliss into your family. But there are dangers as well that need to be taken care of, especially when it comes to senior citizens.
Because of their age, seniors’ bodies aren’t capable of regulating the temperature efficiently, which is the reason why they are more susceptible to heatstroke than younger adults.
Considering the health risks caused by the scorching heat, the elderly, as well as their caregiver, needs to follow some safety tips that will keep the elderly on the safe side. Below we have listed some summer safety tips for seniors.
10 Summer Safety Tips For The Elderly
1. Stay Hydrated
For seniors, staying hydrated always is a must in the hot weather. Proper hydration helps the kidneys to function normally, fights infections, and also improves cognition.
It is recommended you drink at least eight glasses of water a day. If you’re fond of caffeinated beverages or alcohol, try to decrease their consumption and opt for fresh fruit juices instead.
2. Reduce Strenuous Activities
The more strenuous activities you do in the hot weather, the more you will feel exhausted due to rising body temperature. So, it is important to do as few physical activities as possible.
3. Wear Light Clothing
Clothing also matters when you head out under the sun. It is essential to choose light-colored clothing instead of darker colors because they reflect the heat and keep you cool. Also, make sure to wear loose-fitting clothing made of cotton for comfort.
4. Avoid Sunburns
While it is good to get vitamin D from sunshine, too much exposure to the sun can cause sunburns. Older adults typically have thin skin because of the natural loss of fat and water, allowing the harmful UV rays to penetrate easily.
It is recommended you wear sunscreen having an SPF of 30 or higher before you go out. If you’re staying outside longer, make sure to apply sunscreen every couple of hours.
5. Know The Warning Signs Of Heatstroke
Since the bodies of older adults aren’t efficient in controlling temperature, a rise in the outside temperature can cause the body’s temperature to rise faster. This overheating or hyperthermia can lead to heat stroke.
Seniors, their family members, and caregivers need to know the warning signs of heatstroke so that action can be taken immediately. The signs are –
- Shortness of breath
- A sudden change in behavior, such as confusion
- A high temperature above 40 degrees Celsius
- Not sweating despite feeling hot
- Dry, flushed skin
- Rapid pulse
If you experience any of the above symptoms, let others know about it immediately.
6. Review Your Medications
If you’re taking medications, make sure to consult your doctor about any side effects that are related to exposure to the sun.
7. Protect Your Eyes
In order to prevent eye irritation and damage, make sure to wear sunglasses that are designed to block the harmful UV rays. Alongside you can wear a wide fedora hat for added protection.
8. Stay Cool
It is important to stay cool after spending some time under the sun. After you’re done with outdoor activities, you can head back home and turn on the air-conditioner in your room. If you don’t have one, you can either drive to the nearest air-conditioned shopping mall or to your close one’s home.
9. Schedule A Checkup
Regardless of the season, it is always important to monitor your health condition. Make sure to schedule a regular checkup with your doctor to prevent illnesses and chronic conditions from getting worse.
10. Try Not To Be All By Yourself
Whenever you go out for summer activities, take your caregiver, a friend, or a family member with you. If there’s no one around, you can create an emergency contact list for instant access to your close ones’ phone numbers beforehand.
Just like young adults, older adults also love to be a part of the enjoyment brought by summer. But because older adults are more susceptible to health risks, they need to be constantly monitored as long as they are out in the sun.
It is important for everyone to know about summer safety tips for seniors. If the tips are followed every time the older adults head outside, their health risks can be minimized to a greater extent.