The official start of summer is June 21st, but for all intents and purposes: summer weather is here, which means it is time to talk about summer safety. As temperatures rise it raises the risk for certain age groups, one of those which is seniors. Heat-related illness can come about from too much exposure to heat and the sun. However, they can also present themselves in those with:
* Heart, lung, or kidney disease
* High blood pressure
* Poor circulation
* Medications that affect the ability to sweat
Anyone can succumb to heat related illness, which is why it is important to have safe summer practices. Therefore, after having a week with multiple 90 degree days, it’s the perfect time to go over some Summer Safety Tips!
Summer Safety Tips
1. Stay Hydrated
As we age, not only do our bodies get rid of water at a faster rate, but seniors also start to lose the ability to feel thirst. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water. Remember that if you are feeling thirsty you are probably already dehydrated.
2. Dress For The Weather
Loose-fitting clothing and light colored clothes can help protect your skin from the sun. Make sure the fabrics you wear allow the skin to breathe. For your head, wearing a wide brimmed hat offers protection for your face and neck. While sun glasses, or other glasses that block UVA/UVB rays, protect the eyes.
3. Wear Sunblock
Everyone, young and old, should wear sunscreen. When shopping for sunscreen look for ones that block both UVA/UVB rays and have SPF of more than 15. Apply at least fifteen minutes before you are out in the sun and reapply frequently.
4. Use Your Air Conditioning/Avoid Extreme Heat
Natural heat and humidity makes the temperature of your home even higher. Use your air conditioner to stay cool. If you do not have an air conditioner or central air, find places to go throughout the day that do have air. Malls, shopping centers, and spending time with friends are good options of places to go.
5. Know the Signs of Heat Related Illnesses
Recognizing the signs of heat related illnesses will help you to take immediate action for yourself and for others. Do not hesitate to go to the doctor and seek medical attention.
- Dry, flushed skin
- Elevated body temperature
- Change in behavior such as acting confused, agitated, or grouchy
- Heavy breathing
- Rapid pulse
- Not sweating, even if it’s hot out
This summer take time to check on family members and other seniors in your neighborhood. If you have air conditioning, invite those who do not to spend time with you. Do what you can to help seniors beat the heat this summer!