Staying Safe in the Summer Heat
Safety in warm weather is important for everyone, especially seniors who are more susceptible to dehydration and illnesses like heat stroke. Protect yourself and your loved ones with these tips from the Centers for Disease Control.
- Hydrate: Drink lots of water frequently throughout the day, avoiding caffeinated, sugary and alcoholic drinks. Since seniors’ senses dull as they age and they may not feel thirsty, this is especially important for them. Dehydration is dangerous and can lead to other serious health complications. Be sure to consult with your physician to find the right balance between hydration and any medications you’re taking, as well.
- Keep Cool: Stay in an air-conditioned environment, if possible, when temperatures get high, and avoid using the oven or stove to cook. Take cooler baths or showers than normal. Avoid vigorous outdoor activity and get plenty of rest. Plan exercise or errands during the early morning or evening hours to minimize extreme heat and sun exposure.
- Dress the Part: If you do venture outside, wear light-colored, lightweight, loose-fitting clothing. Wear a hat or visor, protect your eyes with sunglasses and do not forget to apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher at least 15-20 minutes before going outdoors.
- Stay Connected: If you have loved ones who live alone or without air conditioning, give them a call to check in and ensure they’re staying hydrated and cool.
- Remain Aware: Finally, know the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses. Dark-colored urine, muscle cramps, weakness, fatigue, nausea and/or vomiting are all indicators of dehydration. Heat stroke symptoms include high body temperature, dizziness, headache, confusion and nausea. Seek medical care immediately if any of these signs are present.
Staying hydrated, cool and mindful of your health will help you have a safe and enjoyable summer!