Hot weather is here, and it can be a dangerous time of the year for seniors. It is also one of the most enjoyable times of the year, when grandchildren and great-grandchildren are out of school, roads are passable to many of America’s most beautiful parks, and waterfronts are waiting for adventure.
While there is much to enjoy, we would like to remind you that there are some basic common-sense precautions seniors can take to stay safe and enjoy summer. Here are a few hot weather tips for seniors!
- Keep Abreast of Weather Reporting – Air pollution, humidity, and heat all impact our body’s ability to keep cool. When a weather station reports that it is too hot to be outdoors, believe them and find a cool place to stay indoors.
- Use Your Air Conditioner – AC costs money, but so does heatstroke. Many people will opt out of using their air conditioner in hot summer months because of cooling costs, but it’s not worth it. If it’s too hot to be outside, it’s too hot to not use whatever means possible to cool your home.
- Use Natural Cooling – Block sunlight with thermal curtains, open windows at night, pay attention to breezes and open windows to let them in.
- Drink Liquids – Start with water, drink juices and electrolyte rich drinks, end with water.
- Spend Time with Friends and Family – Dehydration and heatstroke are often treatable if caught in time. Many deaths from the heat in summer come from when people become overheated, are unable to cool off, and stay in that situation for a long period of time. The more time you spend with others, the more you have resources to help if things get difficult.
- Understand the Symptoms – This article by Everyday Health has an excellent list of the symptoms of heatstroke. In short, watch out for high body temperature, inability to sweat, flushed skin, or fainting.
- Drink Excess Diuretics – Certain liquids, like caffeine and alcohol, make you need to use the bathroom more, increasing your rate of dehydration.
- Forget Your Covering – Sunscreen is a must when going outside, but so is adequate clothing. Loose, light-colored cotton clothes help protect against the sun. A hat is highly recommended to keep the sun off your face.
- Exercise in the Heat – Exercise in a rather cool environment to help your body shed the heat created while exercising. If temperatures cool off in the evenings or mornings, reserve outside exercise – including walks – for then. If temperatures remain above 80º all day and night, find a climate-controlled area (gym, air conditioned house) to exercise.
These tips for surviving the heat this summer. For more information on summer safety, see the NIH Hot Weather Safety Page. To discover how The Terrace Assisted Living can help you or your loved one stay safe during hot weather, contact us today.