Summer is the time of year lots of people look forward to most, the time to get outside and enjoy the warmth, sunshine, and longer days with family and friends. However, all the fun in the sun can lead to some serious health issues, especially for the elderly. Older adults can still enjoy a safe summer by taking a few precautions when the temperatures soar.
According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA) too much heat is not safe for anyone. Being hot for too long can be a problem and cause several illnesses such as heat exhaustion, heat edema, and heatstroke. How can we lower our risk of heat-related illnesses?
• Drink plenty of fluids. Drink water or juice even when not thirsty.
• If living in a home without air conditioning – keep blinds or curtains closed during the hottest part of the day.
• If the house is hot, find a place with air conditioning such as a library, movie theatre, senior center, or a friend’s home.
• Wear loose, lightweight, and light-colored clothing.
• Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
• Try not to exercise or do actives outdoors when it’s hot.
• Don’t forget the sunscreen!
Know the warning signs of heat-related illness:
Dizziness, nausea, headache, rapid heartbeat, chest pain, confusion, fainting, and breathing problems are all warning signs that indicate help should be sought immediately.
Check on elderly adults, neighbors, and family during the hottest days of summer. If they are experiencing headache, nausea, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, or difficulty breathing call 911.
With so many outdoor activities to enjoy, there’s no reason to stay inside and hide from the sun all summer. By following a few safety precautions older loved ones can stay safe and enjoy the summer season.