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Summer Safety Tips for Seniors

The summertime can be an exciting season for fun outdoor activities and sunbathing. However, the high temperatures and hot sun can be dangerous if proper precautions are not taken.

Seniors are especially at risk for heat related health problems due to poor circulation, changes in skin due to aging, heart problems, and other health issues.

It’s important to stay on top of your health this summer and be aware of any changes in health.

According to healthyaging.org, these are the health problems caused by heat and the warning signs to look out for:

Dehydration

  • Warning signs: weakness, headache, muscle cramps, dizziness, confusion, and passing out

Heat Stroke

  • Warning signs: A body temperature of 103 or higher, red, hot, and dry skin, a fast pulse, headache, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, confusion, and passing out

Heat Exhaustion

  • Warning signs: Heavy sweating or no sweating, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, paleness, cold or clammy skin, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, fast and weak pulse, and fainting

Heat Syncope

  • Warning signs: Dizziness or fainting

Summer Safety Tips for Seniors

  1. Stay hydrated. Be sure to drink 8 or more glasses of water per day to stay hydrated. Also avoid drinking alcohol, soda, and coffee; these beverages can leave you dehydrated quickly.
  2. Wear weather friendly clothes. Wear loose-fitting clothing and natural fabrics like cotton. Also be sure to choose lighter colored clothes that will reflect the sun and heat. Darker colors will attract heat and cause you to feel warmer faster.
  3. Stay inside when possible. If you don’t really have an urgent need to go somewhere, try to stay indoors instead. On especially hot and humid days, make it a priority to not go outside. Avoiding the extreme heat is always the best option.
  4. Use sunscreen. Always apply sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) before going outside to prevent skin damage from the harmful UV rays. You must protect your skin from the sun, even on cloudy days.
  5. Take a cool shower or bath. When you feel extra warm, take a cool bath or shower to lower your body temperature. It’s a quick and easy way to cool down.
  6. Keep your home cool. Air conditioning is a must in the summer. If you don’t have air conditioning in your home, be sure to have several fans running. Also, keep yourself in air conditioning during the day, either at a public library or coffee shop, or at a friend’s house.
  7. Protect your eyes. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from vision loss and other damage. You can also wear a sunhat to protect your eyes and skin.
  8. Use bug spray. If you’re spending a lot of time outdoors, especially at night, you’re prone to bug bites. Seniors are particularly prone to West Nile Virus so it’s important to take precautions to keep mosquitos away.
  9. Exercise outdoors with caution. If you enjoy exercising outside, don’t stay out for long periods and make sure to drink enough water. Don’t overdo your workout or you’ll increase your chances of developing dangerous health issues.
  10. Talk to your doctor. Speak with your doctor to make sure the medications you’re taking won’t be affected by high temperatures. Also be sure to not leave your medications out in sunny areas, because some medications are less effective if stored at temperatures higher than room temperature.

In Home Personal Services has locations in Illinois, Florida, and Texas. If you or a loved one is in need of in-home care please contact us through our e-mail or call us at 877.826.4477.