Keep Your Cool: 7 Ways to Protect Seniors from Heat-Related Health Problems
Dehydration, heat stroke, and heat exhaustion are a danger for everyone as the temperatures rise in summertime. But senior citizens are at an even greater risk. Age-related physical changes in the body, chronic health conditions, and medications that most older folks take put them in a high-risk group for heat-related health troubles.
If you’re an older adult or have aging family members, you must be proactive to prevent heat-related incidences from causing a health scare. These 7 tips will help keep senior citizens safe even on the hottest days.
1. Avoid direct sun exposure
The older you get, the harder it is for your body to tolerate excessive heat and sun. While getting outdoors is good for you, try to plan things early in the morning or when the sun is setting to avoid the strongest sun rays.
2. Keep cool
Indoor, air-conditioned spaces are best for seniors. Play card games with friends, or keep active walking inside the mall rather than outside in the sun and heat.
3. Always drink water
Caffeine and alcohol are dehydrating, so be sure to limit your intake and instead, have more water. Keep it with you at all times and sip from it frequently to replenish the fluids in your body.
4. Wear the right clothes
Light-colored, loose-fitting clothes are a better way to dress for the summer heat. They’ll help keep you cooler. Dark-colored clothes absorb heat and can make you feel hotter. Additionally, wearing a hat with a wide brim will keep the sun off your face.
5. Use sunscreen outdoors
Even if you don’t plan to be outside for long or in the direct rays of the sun, wear sunscreen with an SPF of 50. This will prevent sunburn which can be even worse for aging skin.
6. Don’t forget insect repellent
While summer is a beautiful season where everything is blooming and full of life, it unfortunately means all the bugs are back. Use a separate insect repellent along with your sunscreen to keep from getting bitten.
7. Enjoy the water
Swimming is an activity anyone can enjoy, especially seniors. While an indoor pool might be best to avoid excess sun, the water will keep you cool outdoors and give you a chance to exercise while being easy on your joints. And for any day, tepid showers and baths when you feel warm or even using a wet washcloth can help cool you down fast.
Need help with senior care this summer? In Your Home Therapy specializes in coming to you and helping you with your needs. Contact us today to see how we can help you make this summer your best one yet!