Summer is the season for backyard barbecues, picnics, family reunions, and many other great outdoor activities, but the summer sun can also bring dangers, such as sunstroke and dehydration. As temperatures rise, it’s important for seniors to take extra precautions to stay healthy and happy. Check out our top four summer safety tips to help seniors in your life continue to enjoy the summer fun.
Four Summer Safety Tips to Keep Seniors Cool
1. Drink Plenty of Water
Our thirst sensors become less sensitive as we age, which can be especially dangerous in high heat when we sweat more. So seniors should pay close attention to water intake to avoid dehydration. Dr. William Greenough of Johns Hopkins Geriatric Center says that caregivers should make sure seniors drink sweat replacement products (containing salt and potassium) to replace the water they lose during the summer.
2. Cover Up
The summer sun can be especially damaging to senior skin. If you’re planning to spend a lot of time in direct sunlight, be sure to dress appropriately — lightweight clothing that covers arms and legs, a wide brim hat to protect the head, and keep the sun off the neck. And be sure to apply sunscreen — SPF 30 or higher — at least 30 minutes before going outside. It’s also important to wear UV protection sunglasses to guard your eyes against harsh sunlight.
3. Avoid The Heat of The Day
Avoid spending too much time when the sun is at its highest in the sky. Instead, take your walk in the evening after the sun has started to set. Choose early morning to do yard work or tend to your garden.
4. Know The Symptoms
Know the symptoms of hyperthermia or “heatstroke” and seek immediate medical attention
• Body temperature greater than 104 degrees
• A change in behavior, such as acting confused, agitated, or grouchy
• Dry, flushed skin
• Nausea and vomiting
• Heavy breathing or a rapid pulse
• Not sweating, even if it’s hot out
The CDC has a great Caretaker Checklist we encourage everyone to read over before summer outings: Caretaker Checklist.
Caregiving offers seniors and adults with disabilities the opportunity to remain as independent as possible for as long as possible. Our caregivers are experienced and at ease working in tandem with family or as additional support to facility staff in retirement communities, nursing homes, rehab facilities. Simply put, you will find our caregivers ready to assist wherever care is needed. Talk to one of our WholeCare team members at (615) 422-7549, or fill out our quick contact form to get started on your custom care plan.