Four Summer Safety Tips for Seniors
Summer is a time for outdoor fun. While the scorching sun and soaring temperatures can be potentially dangerous for anyone, seniors need to be extra cautious. These four summer health tips for seniors can be used to ensure that both you and the people you care for are staying safe this time of year.
Check on family and neighbors throughout the summer – particularly those who do not use air conditioning. Remember that a lot can happen in a few hours, so check in at least twice a day. If your loved one does not live nearby, see if a local neighbor can check in occasionally. Write up a list of key emergency numbers, so that if an issue does occur, the right people are quickly notified.
Seniors and others who have been diagnosed with serious chronic health conditions can find summer temperatures exasperate their conditions. Make plans with your loved one to visit air conditioned places like a family or friend’s home, a library, senior center, or the mall. Not only does the climate control give them a break from the heat, but it allows for exercise and socializing in a safe and cool environment. When a loved one does need to be in a warm space, be sure they dress accordingly in light, loose-fitting clothes with hats and sunglasses as needed. When possible, practice summer safety by trying to do outdoor activities and errands in the morning or evening when the sun is at its lowest.
Seniors often find their feeling of thirst decreases as they age. By the time a person feels thirsty, they may already be dehydrated. Seniors should drink water often and caregivers should ensure that they bring water with them whenever they leave the house. In addition, individuals living with Alzheimer’s or other dementia may even forget to drink water, so it is important to remind them to drink water throughout the day. If seniors are exercising or performing actions that cause them to sweat, make sure that they are drinking beverages that include salt and potassium to replace minerals they lose through their sweat.
Check out our Senior Summer Safety Tips Infographic.
Recognize the signs of heat stroke.
This is one of the most important summer health tips for seniors. Watch for signs of heat stroke including confusion, dry skin (i.e. not sweating in a high temperature environment), headache, lethargy, nausea, a rapid pulse, and/or a body temperature over 104°F. If you see these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care provides added support to individuals diagnosed with a terminal illness or chronic medical condition. Please call us at 1-888-564-3405 for more helpful tips for caregivers or to refer a patient.
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