Summer can be a time of fun and adventure, but it can also be a time of concern for older adults. As we age our bodies change, and health problems and medications can make us more susceptible to heat, humidity, and sun exposure. A study by researchers at Duke University found that over 80% of heat-related deaths each year are in people aged 60 and over, but that doesn’t mean that you have to spend the summer indoors. Following a few safety tips will ensure that you enjoy all of your summer activities safely.
Seniors don’t typically sweat or recognize thirst as easily as younger people which puts them at greater risk of dehydration. Add in diuretic medications used to treat things like high blood pressure, kidney disease, or congestive heart, and you have a situation where the body is losing fluids faster than they are being taken in. To prevent becoming dehydrated, drink plenty of fluids before heading outside, and take extra water with you. It’s also a good idea to have a sports drink available to replenish electrolytes in case of excessive sweating.
Protect Yourself From the Sun
Our skin thins as we get older. This along with side effects from certain medications make aging skin more susceptible to the sun. Before heading out, apply sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher, and don’t forget the often-overlooked places like the ears, upper lip, and tops of the feet and hands. Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose clothing to help keep cool while offering even more sun protection, and don’t forget a hat and sunglasses.
Know When to Stay Indoors
Getting outdoors is a wonderful way to get exercise and fresh air to boost your mood and improve overall health, but there are times when it’s best to stay indoors. The sun is strongest between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is also the hottest part of the day. If you are susceptible to the heat and/or sun you should stay in the shade during this time and venture out in the early morning and evening hours. And on those days when the temperature and humidity outside are soaring, stay inside in air conditioning or in front of a fan.
At Ashbridge Manor Senior Living, we pride ourselves on creating an environment that enables seniors to lead a socially active lifestyle to improve their health. When it’s time to transition to a senior living facility, contact our professional staff members and we can help make it easy. You can find us at 971 E. Lancaster Avenue in Downingtown, PA, call 610.269.8800, or contact us online for more information. Ask us about our move-in special! Ashbridge Manor is a safe, COVID-free senior living community.