The summer months are a great time to get outside and enjoy the sunshine and beautiful weather. For seniors, however, it is important to be aware that the summer heat can also prove to be extremely dangerous and detrimental to their health if precautions are not taken. Here are some top tips for staying safe this summer.
Water, Water Everywhere … Drinking plenty of water during the summer months is the easiest, yet most often overlooked, method of staying cool. Whether you are indoors or out, make sure you are drinking continuously, even if you do not feel thirsty. A good rule of thumb is to drink at least a cup of water every 20 minutes. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which will only further dehydrate you.
Plan around the Heat. Avoid any strenuous outdoor activity during the hotter parts of the day. Experts suggest the hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. are when the sun is at its worst. If you exercise outdoors regularly, move your workouts to the morning or evenings hours to avoid the greatest heat. If you work outdoors, take regular breaks and hydrate well to avoid over-exertion. Try to stay in the shade as much as possible, wear a wide-brimmed hat, and apply sunscreen regularly.
Dress for the heat. Wear loose, light-weight light-colored clothing that will keep you as cool as possible and reflect the sun’s rays. Darker clothing will attract the sun, and tight clothing doesn’t allow your skin to breath and sweat to evaporate to cool you down.
Eat small meals often. Avoid eating foods that are high in protein, as they will increase your metabolic heat. Cold soups, sandwiches, salads, and vegetables are the best options if you will be spending a prolonged period of time outdoors and in the sun.
Stay cool at home. Stay in the coolest part of the house and direct a fan on yourself, if necessary. To further cool down your body, you can apply a cool, damp cloth to your neck or take a lukewarm shower or bath. If you are without air-conditioning, consider going to a movie or another air-conditioned location on the hotter summer days.
Here at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, we want you to have a safe and happy summer. Should you have any questions about your health and safety during summer, feel free to contact us. Visit us online or call us at (727) 819-2929.
Summer Safety Tips for Seniors (Senior.com)
Summer Safety & Preparedness Guide for Seniors (Red Cross)