Did you know that adults over the age of 65 are more prone to heat-related health problems than other individuals? With the daytime high regularly topping 100 degrees, practicing summertime safety is more important than ever this year.
Discover seven ways seniors can stay safe this summer.
7 Summer Safety Tips for Seniors
#1: Wear Sunscreen Everyday
Keep your skin safe from the sun by applying sunscreen daily, even on cloudy or overcast days. AARP recommends seniors choose sunscreen with an SPF between 30 and 50. When looking for sunblock, don't forget to choose one that offers "broad spectrum protection," meaning it guards against both UVA and UVB rays.
#2: Go Out Early or Late
The best way to stay cool on a toasty summer day is to stay inside with the AC during the hottest part of the day. Aim to do your shopping and chores before 10 AM or after 4 PM when the temperatures tend to be a bit lower.
#3: Know the Signs of Heat Stroke
Because seniors can be more sensitive to heat, it's important to be aware of the signs of heat stroke so that you can seek medical help if need be. Watch for symptoms such as:
- Red, hot, dry skin
- Rapid pulse
- Body temperatures over 104
If you feel you may be experiencing heat stroke, call 911 right away.
#4: Stay Hydrated
When the weather warms up, it's important to stay hydrated. Keep water on hand at all times. You may swap the water out for an electrolyte-replacing sports drink now and then, as these beverages can help replenish electrolytes that your body loses when it gets dehydrated. Help yourself stay hydrated by avoiding drinks containing alcohol and caffeine that can dehydrate you.
#5: Dress for the Heat
Prepare for the heat by choosing clothes that will keep you cool. Opt for loose, light-colored clothes in breathable fabrics, such as cotton. Don't forget to add sunglasses and a hat to protect your eyes and face from the sun.
#6: Review Your Medications
Make sure you know if any of your medications cause sun or heat sensitivity. These can include common types of medication such as some antibiotics, antidepressants, and cholesterol drugs.
Review your medications and talk to your doctor if you're unsure.
#7: Choose Activities to Help Stay Cool
Finally, choose recreational activities that will help you stay cool, like swimming or going to the movies.
Age and certain medications can make us more sensitive to sunlight and heat as we age. It's important to know how to keep yourself safe when the weather gets hot. What do you do to stay cool in the summer months?