“We are having a heatwave, a tropical heatwave,” as the song goes. Summer has arrived early in Texas, and vigorously.
When the temperature climbs above 80°F, adults who are 65 or older are more susceptible to the heat. Seniors need to be proactive and take safety measures to avoid ailments due to excessive heat. You can still have fun; you just need to be mindful of the negative results of hot weather and the sun.
The good news is a few simple precautions can keep heat related problems at bay and help you optimize your enjoyment of the long summer days. Here are some important pointers to protect yourself or loved ones and safely enjoy the summer sun.
Tips to keep you safe:
Continuing your exercise routine in the summer has great benefits. It keeps your body and mind sharp. First check with your skilled nurse to find out if it is safe to continue if you have certain health conditions or restrictions. Be sure to wear loose fitting clothing to stay cool and for good movement.
Before any exercise, be sure to warm up for 5 to 10 minutes. You can march in place to get the blood flowing and get your energy up. Start slow and build your heart rate gradually. Maintain a rate for 20 minutes gradually increasing the intensity. If you start to feel overheated slow down your pace. At the end of your workout cool down for 5 to 10 minutes, and you can even do stretches. Be sure to hydrate at the beginning and end of your workout.
If You Visit Our Gardens
If you enjoy outdoor activities and love to walk or sit outdoors, visit our garden in the early morning or late evening. Make sure to wear the proper clothing that is loose fitting and light in color. Natural fiber fabrics such as cotton, linen, and silk are best to allow the skin to breath. Wear protective gear such as a wide brimmed hat to protect your face from the sun’s harsh rays.
Choose quality sunglasses. Many people view sunglasses as a fashion accessory, but they play a critical role in protecting your vision. According to some studies, sunglasses can even help prevent the development of cataracts. When choosing a pair of sunglasses, make sure to select a pair with 100 percent UV and UB protection. Anything less will not do.
Do not forget the sunscreen. Caregivers understand the importance of sunscreen. It may not seem necessary to many older adults who grew up not wearing any at all. If you plan on spending time outdoors this summer season, wear an SPF of 30 or above and apply an ample amount depending on the strength of the sun and the activities you will be doing.
Apply bug spray. The elderly are particularly prone to the West Nile Virus and encephalitis. Use mosquito repellent to reduce the risk of infection.
Follow these extra tips:
Keep track of your time outdoors.
Do not stay outside longer than 10 to 20 minutes in extreme heat.
Stay in the shade, or under an umbrella if possible.
Remain indoors during peak sunlight hours.
How To Stay Cool
During these hot months lighter, cooler meals are better than heavy, hot entrées. Cool snacks such as fruit popsicles or frozen grapes are healthy and a “cool” way to beat the heat. Drink plenty of cold water and avoid alcohol and caffeine. Use a cool washcloth on the back of your neck when you are feeling overheated.
The best way to protect yourself from overheating during the hot summer is by making sure that your air conditioning is working properly and add fans to your rooms.
While protecting yourself from the sun is key, staying well hydrated is important as well. Experienced caregivers know seniors suffer a greater risk of dehydration due to medication side effects and a variety of other factors. If you spend any time outdoors, take bottled water with you.
Follow these extra tips:
Make sure your fan is spinning the right way.
Apply ice or a cold-water bottle to pulse points.
Drink minted beverages.
Take a cool shower.
Eat ice cream.
Check Your Medications
Increased sensitivity to the sun’s powerful rays is a common side effect of many medications. You should look over your medications and discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your nurse before heading out to enjoy outdoor activities.
Knowing The Symptoms of Heat Stroke Can Save Your Life
High body temperature, nausea, headache, a flushed face, dizziness, rapid pulse, and a lack of sweat are the key signs of heat stroke and immediate action should be taken. If you are fortunate enough to enjoy assisted living, your caregiver will know to place a cool icepack on the back of your neck, increase your water consumption, and remove you from the sun whenever any of these symptoms occur.
Take A Field Trip
If you are able to take a planned outing during the summer, shopping malls, movie theaters, and libraries all maintain a cool temperature throughout the summer and can be a great way to get away without prolonged exposure to heat.
Home Away From Home TX LLC
We understand how dangerous the summer can be for seniors, and we are committed to providing the highest standard of care. Contact Home Away From Home TX LLC today to learn more about our services!