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10 Summer Safety Tips for Seniors

By: Commonwealth Senior Living / 30 Jun 2023
10 Summer Safety Tips for Seniors

Summer can be a time of fun in the sun, but its important to stay safe and follow safety precautions. This is especially true for seniors due to their increased risk of heat-related health issues. As we age, our bodies become less able to effectively regulate temperature, making seniors more vulnerable to heat stroke, dehydration, and heat exhaustion. Experts at the Center for Disease Control say certain medications and common chronic health conditions among older adults can increase these risks. The combination of the summer heat waves and the added desire for visits outside with family and friends can make for a dangerous situation for seniors.

To help seniors navigate the summer safely, weve compiled the following 10 tips:

  1. Stay hydrated. During warmer weather months, its especially crucial for seniors to stay hydrated. Drinking water and low-sugar fruit juices throughout the day can replenish lost vitamins and fluids due to perspiration.
  2. Wear sunscreen and eye protection. Seniors face an increased risk of melanoma, making it important to use plenty of sunscreen. Eye protection should also be considered, as direct sunlight can cause damage.
  3. Protect your head with wide-brimmed hats. some of the first areas where skin cancers develop are on the ears, neck, and top of the head. As we age, the hair follicles begin to thin which removes the natural barrier to direct sunlight. Wearing wide-brimmed hats will protect all of these problem areas.
  4. Wear appropriate attire. Loose-fitting clothing made out of natural fibers such as cotton allows the skin to breathe and cool itself naturally. Synthetic or tight-fitting clothing restricts that breathing process and continues to increase the body's temperature.
  5. Avoid mid-day hours. The hours between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. are when the sun is most intense. Older adults should avoid strenuous activities outside during this time period in order to minimize heatstroke or other heat related illnesses.
  6. Monitor the heat index. The heat index is the calculation of moisture or humidity in the air as it relates to the evaporation process caused by the sun. A high heat index can limit the body's ability to perspire and cool itself. Monitoring both the temperature and the heat index will help protect seniors from heat exhaustion.
  7. Exercise with low intensity. Maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle is important or adults ages 65 or better, but the summer months create challenges to exercising outdoors. Seniors should limit their exercise activities to air-conditioned spaces. If exercise is conducted outside, it should be a low-intensity activity such as light gardening or walking near areas where they can quickly seek water and shelter if needed.
  8. Apply bug spray. Mosquitoes and ticks can carry a variety of diseases which are harder for the immune system to fight in older adults. Wearing bug spray can help protect seniors from unwanted illnesses.
  9. Inform neighbors, friends, and family. It may seem inconvenient, but seniors should inform someone if they decide to undertake outdoor activities during the summer. Having someone check in on them will provide a safety net in case anything happens and will provide a certain level of comfort to loved ones.
  10. Know the signs. Seniors should know the signs of heatstroke which can take the form of muscle cramps, headaches, nausea, and dizziness. Experiencing any of these signs should alert seniors that they need to seek shelter in an air-conditioned environment and rehydrate.

By keeping these tips in mind, seniors can enjoy a healthy, active summer. Stay safe!

To learn more about safe summer activities, contact community nearest you for a visit.

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