May 25, 2017
Summer is almost here, which means the weather is heating up around the country. While this season is a great time to soak up the sun and enjoy the outdoors, the summer months may also pose serious health risks for seniors. Stay healthy and happy all summer long by following some of our top summer safety tips for seniors.
During the summer months, dehydration can be a major health risk for seniors. Dehydration is caused by a loss of salt and water in our bodies due to sweating, extreme heat, or a limited fluid intake. As we age, we may thirst less due to decreased appetites or certain medications. In order to prevent the risk of dehydration for seniors, drink plenty of fluids and limit the amount of caffeine consumed each day, as caffeinated drinks can be dehydrating. You can also reach the daily recommended amount of water by eating certain foods, like watermelon or cucumbers.
The risk of heatstroke or heat exhaustion is higher for older adults, and even slight changes in temperature can have an effect on seniors’ health. Recent research has also shown that seniors taking blood pressure or heart medication need to be aware of changes in heat, as these medications can interfere with the body’s natural temperature regulation processes. Some of the warning signs of heat exhaustion or heatstroke include nausea, headache, muscle cramps, fatigue, weakness, blurred vision, vomiting, rapid weak heartbeat, excessive sweating, and dizziness. Prevent this risk by avoiding long periods of sun exposure. Keep drinking fluids throughout the day, and try wearing lighter fabrics like cotton or linen to keep cool all day long.
Limit outdoor activities
Summer is the perfect time to enjoy walking or jogging, but seniors should be mindful of the amount of time they spend outdoors. Take frequent breaks when doing outdoor activities like exercising or gardening, and always remember to protect yourself from the sun by wearing sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat.