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The Top Summer Safety Tips for Seniors
The summer is a season cherished by many, with the warmer temperatures making it a great time to gather with friends and family for cookouts or reunions. While you might be looking forward to plenty of fun in the sun, it’s also important to remember that for seniors, summertime can pose certain threats. The increased temperatures and bright rays from the sun can have some negative impacts on older adults’ health, causing seniors to be more at risk for a variety of issues during the summer months.
The Dangers of Summertime for Seniors
When going outdoors in the summer months, be cautious and avoid these heat-related health issues:
- Heat Stroke: Heat stroke is one of the most dangerous heat-related health issues. This occurs when your body becomes too hot to properly cool itself down. Your body loses the ability to sweat, therefore your body’s temperature begins to rise exponentially. Warning signs of heat stroke include High body temperature, throbbing headache, paleness, dizziness, and fainting. Make sure to watch for these signs and regulate the amount of time you spend outdoors.
- Dehydration: There is a great deal of concern that comes with dehydration. Not being able to regulate your internal body temperature goes hand-in-hand with a lack of water. As aging occurs, your thirst tends to decrease, and this can cause a lot of problems for seniors during periods of extreme heat.
- Heat Cramps: Heat cramps are most likely to occur if you are being physically active in hot conditions. These cramps are painful muscle spasms and contractions, often resulting from a lack of electrolytes, strenuous physical activity, and excessive sweating.
Summer Safety Tips for Seniors
The good news is there are many different safety tips you can incorporate into your lifestyle during the summer months. By implementing these and being aware of the heat-related health issues, you can still enjoy the warm weather to its fullest potential. These summer health and sun safety tips for seniors include:
- Stay indoors during the middle of the day: Temperatures soar, and the sun is at its highest UV index during the middle of the day. To avoid heat-related health issues, stay indoors during these times, and make outdoor plans for either the mornings or evenings when temperatures have cooled, and the sun is not quite as strong.
- Utilize air conditioning: Being able to relax in a cool, comfortable space is a great way to avoid the extreme heat. During the middle of the day, plan activities in air-conditioned spaces and enjoy the cooler temperatures. Even if you don’t have air conditioning in your home, visit locations that do, such as shopping malls, movie theatres or grocery stores.
- Maintain hydration levels: Your body’s temperature naturally rises when you’re outside in the heat and staying hydrated can help cool you down. Make sure to keep a water bottle near you at all times when outside, and if you’re doing a lot of physical activity that causes sweating, consider drinking something that will replace some of the electrolytes you are losing.
- Wear light, flowy clothing: During the summer months, switch up your wardrobe accordingly. Swap heavier, darker colored clothes for summery tops that are flowy and lighter in both density and color. This will help keep you feeling cool and comfortable.
- Limit large, heavy meals: Large meals that take you from feeling satisfied to stuffed will not only cause you to feel uncomfortable, but they also will raise your body temperature. When combined with hot weather, these heavy meals can increase your risk for heat-related health issues. Stick to eating smaller, lighter meals more frequently to keep your temperature stable and your energy levels high.
- Make sure to use sunscreen: If you are going to be in the sun for an extended period of time, make sure to use sunscreen with a high SPF. It is critical that you re-apply every few hours and try and find shade in between your exposure to direct sunlight. Using a large brimmed hat can also help by keeping the sunshine off your face and out of your eyes.
A Healthy Lifestyle this Summer and Beyond at Advent Christian Village
Advent Christian Village helps promote healthy lifestyles through our focus on wellness and enrichment. Our staff is professionally trained and will be there to help you reach your health and fitness goals, whatever they might be. We offer a variety of different living options offered as well, from independent living to assisted living and skilled nursing care, ensuring you’ll find a perfect fit here. Contact us today to learn more about our inviting and supportive senior living community in north Florida.