Keeping Cool this Summer: 5 Tips for the Elderly to Beat the Summer Heat
While many of us picture the summer as a time for having fun outdoors, for the elderly, the summer heat can be quite a risk and even dangerous. But don’t fret! With our five tips for beating the summer heat, you and your loved ones will be ready for a summer free from stress.
Tip #1: Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
As we age, we become more susceptible to dehydration. Especially in the summer with the addition of heat, a risk for dehydration increases. Be sure to look out for signs of dehydration such as dry mouth, sleepiness, headaches, dizziness. To avoid dehydration, doctors suggest consuming around 6-8 cups of water each day.
Tip #2: Enjoy The Great Indoors
Consider enjoying the beauty of the summer from the comfort of your living room! Going outside in direct sunlight during the summer can be particularly taxing, especially during the hottest time of the day, which is around 3 pm. Instead, opt to stay inside and crack open a window while reading a great book, playing cards, or just relaxing in the cold, air-conditioned air.
Tip #3: Shield Yourself
Be prepared when you plan to go outside during an unusually hot summer day! A 2009 study found that older skin is more at risk to skin cancer, so when going outside, be sure to wear protective clothing such as a hat, sunglasses, and even an umbrella to keep yourself out of the sun’s rays. And always remember sunscreen! Doctors recommend wearing SPF 30 on all exposed areas, no matter whether you’re inside or out.
Tip #4: Check Yourself
Some medications can cause increased sensitivity to the sun, so be sure to consult with your doctor if you’re noticing symptoms of this. If you do have a medication that makes you more sensitive to the sun, don’t fret! Check out tip #2 for ways to enjoy your summer from the safety of indoors.
Tip #5: Say No To Heat Stroke
Older adults don’t adjust as well to sudden changes in temperature, so susceptibility to heat stroke with elders can be much higher. Know the tell-tale signs of heat stroke such as a headache, elevated body temperature, hot and dry flushed skin, dizziness, and disorientation.
To avoid heat stroke, stay hydrated (see tip #1), stay indoors during extreme heat (see tip #2), and stay protected when outside (see tip #3).
Make sure that you and your loved ones can enjoy the heat while also staying safe this summer by following these tips! By taking the proper measures to avoid things like dehydration or heat stroke, you’ll be sure to have a fun and safe summer.