For many people, summer is a time for relaxation. For senior citizens, hot summer weather can be dangerous if they don’t take the proper steps to stay safe.
So today we want to share some summer safety tips for seniors. You can still enjoy a summer vacation without having to take a break from safety.
As we get older, we lose our ability to conserve water, and become less aware of when we feel thirsty. Be sure to drink plenty of water in the summer, and take some with you on long trips.
2. Consult with your doctor
Your doctor can tell you if any of the medications you take will be affected by high temperatures. This is especially important if you don’t have air conditioning. Some medications lose their effectiveness if stored someplace that’s higher than room temperature.
3. Stay cool
If you don’t have air conditioning, head to public spaces that do: malls, libraries, movie theaters. Contact your local Area Agency on Aging to find out about programs that help seniors get air conditioners. Chronic illnesses can be exacerbated by even small temperature increases.
4. Stay connected
Let your loved ones know if you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors. Caregivers should check in on seniors at least twice a day during hot weather, or see if a younger neighbor can come by every so often to check on them.
5. Have emergency contacts ready
Put together a list of emergency contacts, and keep them somewhere that’s easy to access.
6. Dress for the season
Just as you bundle up for the winter, it’s important that you dress appropriately in the summer. Go with lighter-colored, loose-fitting clothing to keep you cool and comfortable.
7. Protect your eyes
Sunglasses aren’t just for celebrities. Vision loss among seniors is all too common, and sun exposure can make things even worse. Wear sunglasses to protect your vision and keep your eyes safe from harmful UV rays.
8. Beware of hyperthermia
Hyperthermia is a condition that results when your body temperature becomes abnormally high. Heat stroke is an advanced, and sometimes fatal, version of this condition. Get medical help right away if you or someone you know shows these warning signs:
- Dry, flushed skin
- Heavy breathing
- Rapid pulse
- Body temperature more than 104 degrees
- Confused, agitated or grouchy behavior
- Not sweating, even in hot weather
If you or someone you love starts to feel or exhibit these symptoms, seek medical attention, get out of the heat, and lie down with ice packs on your body.
9. Wear hats, sunscreen and bug spray
Everyone should wear sunscreen regardless their age, but for seniors this is especially important. Hats are also a good form of sun protection, especially for people with lighter hair, or who no longer have much hair.
Be sure to protect yourself against insects during the summer as well. Seniors are more susceptible to insect-borne diseases such as West Nile fever.
10. Take care when you exercise
If you enjoy being outdoors, make sure you wear the appropriate clothing and protective gear, and avoid staying out too long. Drink more water than you’d normally consume in other seasons, and consider exercising earlier or later in the day when the sun isn’t at its peak.
At Pennsylvania Stair Lifts, it’s our goal to make life safe, easy and comfortable for senior citizens, and we hope these safety tips for seniors allow you and your family to have a safer, more enjoyable summer.
If you’re looking for stair lifts, platform lifts and other ways to make your home more accessible, we’re ready to assist you. Contact us today to find the stair lift that’s right for you home. And stay cool – and safe – this summer