Summer weather draws people outdoors to
enjoy sunshine, outdoor activities and occasions that bring family and
friends together. Along with these summertime benefits come the mixed
blessings of heat. Seniors are particularly vulnerable in hot weather
to heat exhaustion or worse.
Many providers of senior living
services, recognize that seniors, like everyone else, want to continue
living life to the fullest no matter the time of year. many provider.
The warming weather is a prime opportunity to encourage seniors to
enjoy the summer months while reminding them of the unique issues heat
poses to people as they age.
Preparation and moderation are
important themes to remember if a senior plans to enjoy time outdoors
during the summer months. By following some common sense tips, seniors
can more fully enjoy the good summer weather and avoid overexposure to
the sun and heat.
The following tips may help reduce the chance that a senior will experience heat exhaustion and instead enjoy a nice summer day:
What's The Hurry?
Summer should be enjoyed, so why rush? The faster you move the more your body heats, especially in warm weather. Slow down.
outdoor activities for cooler early morning hours. Look for shaded
areas such as a covered porch or under a tree to enjoy an activity.
Heat can impact seniors as easily indoors as it can outdoors, so be
sure air conditioning is used. Lower shades to keep light and heat
out. Open windows and be sure to cross-ventilate a room by keeping
inside doors open when air conditioning is unavailable. Consider
visiting or volunteering at a place with air conditioning on hot days.
A Need to Scream for Ice Cream
cream, popsicles and other frozen treats are refreshing on a warm day.
Also, drink plenty of water, juice and sports drinks while avoiding
caffeine. Eat cool or cold foods such as sandwiches and salads. Fresh
vegetables and fruits generally contain water too and can help hydrate
while offering a healthy snack. The key is to stay hydrated.
Hot Fashion to Stay Cool
lightweight and loose fitting clothes. Lighter colors and cotton
materials are best for warm weather. Wear U/V skin protection while
also donning a wide-brimmed hat or use an umbrella to protect from
overexposure to the sun.
Consult A Doctor
of dehydration or heat exhaustion are less pronounced in seniors due to
aging, certain medications and chronic conditions. Speak with a doctor
about how these circumstances could change your body's ability to
Signs of heat
exhaustion include fatigue, weakness, nausea, heavy sweating or no
sweating, rapid pulse, confusion or fainting. Immediately move seniors
exhibiting these signs to a cool place and provide cool water or
juice. Apply cool compresses and call for medical assistance if
Common sense tips to beat the heat can help seniors
and all of us; however, frailer seniors living alone should have
someone look in on them during hot weather. Family caregivers,
neighbors and friends are natural and helpful options if they are
Family caregivers who travel during the summer and
need someone to care for their senior loved one can also benefit from
the short-term stay programs offered by several care providers.
Short-term stay guests are offered meals, assistance with personal
care, social programs and wellness visits by the community's licensed
nurse if necessary. Additionally, some providers may offer its guests a
private, fully furnished suite and allow them to bring their pet dog or
cat if they are able to care for it.