Seniors in the sun

Image: Seniors in the sun

As you or your loved one enjoys some fun in the sun this summer, it is important to be cautious and take the steps necessary to stay safe in the heat! The following is an article written by freelance writer, Gillian Kruse, that provides some helpful tips on how to do so!

We all look forward to the summer and the warm weather it brings, but it’s important to remember that too much sun and heat can be dangerous for anyone, and for seniors the risks can be even greater. Here are some tips for seniors to stay safe while enjoying the summer months:

Stay Hydrated

As a senior, you or your loved one may be more susceptible to dehydration due to the fact that seniors typically lose their ability to conserve water as they age. You/they should remember to drink water often to keep hydrated, and be sure to pack a good supply for those long summer walks.

You/your loved one might also want to eat/drink products with plenty of electrolytes (that contain salt and potassium) to replace the nutrients you/they lose through sweat during the hot summer months.

Talk to a Doctor

Check with a doctor to make sure any medications you or your loved one are on won't be affected by higher temperatures -- especially if you/they don't have air conditioning in your/their home. Some medications are less effective if stored at temperatures higher than room temperature, so it’s important to be aware and take necessary precautions to keep your/their medicine as effective as possible.

Keep Your Cool

Shopping malls, movie theatres and libraries provide welcome, cool spaces if your/your loved ones’ own home isn’t air conditioned. They also afford a great opportunity to get out of the house and get some exercise, without the exhaustion of the heat.

Know Who to Call

Prepare a list of emergency phone numbers and place them in an easy to access area. In the event that you or your loved one experience heat exhaustion or other problems, the right people can be called quickly to help and prevent any further issues or complications.

Wear the Right Stuff

Everyone, including seniors, should dress for the weather. When it's warm out, you or your loved one might find natural fabrics (such as cotton) to be cooler than synthetic fibres. Stock your/your loved ones summer wardrobe with light-coloured and loose-fitting clothes to help you/them feel cooler and more comfortable.

Protect Your Eyes

Vision loss is common among seniors, and too much exposure to the sun can irritate your/your loved ones eyes and cause further damage. Wearing sunglasses can protect your/your loved ones eyes from harmful UV rays and preserve your/their vision.

Rub on Sunscreen and Wear Hats

Everyone, young and old, should wear sunscreen when outdoors. Seniors especially need the extra sun protection to help keep them healthy. You or your loved one should apply sunscreen, or have someone apply it for you/them. Hats are also a great idea, especially if you or your loved one has light coloured and/or thinner hair.

Exercise Smart

If you/your loved one enjoy outdoor activities such as walking or gardening, make sure to wear the proper clothing and protective gear. It is also important to keep track of time. You/your loved one should not stay outside for long periods and should consider getting outdoor exercise earlier in the morning or later in the evening when the sun is not at its peak.

If you/your loved one follow these tips, there's no reason you/they can't have an enjoyable and fun-filled summer while staying safe!