Tips for Senior Safety in Summertime Heat...

Once warm weather is upon us and the temperatures reach upwards of 90°, we have to take certain precautions to have a safe and healthy summer. These are just a few thoughts to keep in mind during the summer months.

 

Heat related illnesses include heat rash, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke, and you can find out more about heat illness from the Center for Disease Control (http://www.cdc.gov).

 

Some warm weather safety tips include:

1. Drink plenty of water. It’s important to watch fluid intake, especially since as we age, we have a diminished thirst signal. Be sure to have water in addition to any coffee, tea, or soda you may drink. Those drinks with caffeine can actually dehydrate you!

2. Wear light colored, loose-fitting clothing made of natural fiber, such as cotton.

3. Eat regularly, but watch salt intake (as directed by your doctor) as salt can be dehydrating.

4. Avoid alcohol which can be dehydrating, as well.

5. Stay indoors during peak temperature times; usually the late afternoon.

 

6. Cool the home with fans or air conditioning and remember electrical safety. Some studies have shown that a cool bath or shower is more effective for cooling down than a fan, though.

7. If keeping your home cool is an issue, consider regular visits to the mall, the library or the movies during peak heat times.

8. Be extra careful if you are a person with respiratory illnesses and other chronic illnesses (check with your doctor) as they may be aggravated by or cause an impaired response to warm weather.

9. Remember that some medications can interfere with sweating mechanisms as well as cause reactions in sunlight. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to see if your medications put you at increased risk for heat illness.

 

10. If you live alone, arrange for someone to check on you with a phone call or short visit, and check on your neighbors. You want to make sure the house is adequately cooled and other safety measures are being followed.

 

Enjoy the warm days ahead, but pay special attention to these and all heat-related safety concerns.