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Aging • Safety Summer Safety Tips for Seniors

Too much heat is not safe for anyone, it can be even risker for the elderly. Elderly people are more prone to heat stress than younger people and may be adversely affected. As we age, our bodies don’t adjust as quickly to sudden changes in temperatures, and various medical conditions and prescription medicines can contribute to heat-related illnesses.

During the summer, it feels natural to spend time outside doing light activity or walking. Spending time outside in the sun can not only be fun, but beneficial as well. We can get vitamin D from the sun which helps facilitate normal immune system function and helps create resistance against certain diseases.

However, it is important to keep yourself and your loved ones safe and protected from over exposure and heat related illnesses.

Summer safety tips for seniors:

  1. Stay hydrated
    • Staying hydrated is important no matter your age but can play a huge role in keeping your elderly loved ones safe. Not only will staying hydrated help reduce the risk of heat stroke, but it can also help reduce the risk of UTI’s and kidney diseases. Try and stay away from caffeinated or sugary drinks as those can sometimes dehydrate you more.
  2. Protect your skin and eyes
    • During the summer months it is no secret that the sun is at it’s hottest. Due to the sun’s proximity, we are all at risk for damage from the sun’s rays. Make sure that you and your loved ones are wearing the proper sun screen with a high SPF. Also, wear a hat or sunglasses to protect your eyes from the rays.
  3. Keep medications properly stored
    • Make sure to be aware of any complications that may arise if medications are not stored properly. Some medications may require you to keep them in a cool, dry place to be effective. Also, be aware if any medications advise you to limit sun exposure while taking them.
  4. Run the A/C
    • Although many older adults prefer not to run the A/C to limit electricity costs, this can lead to potentially overheating. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting the thermostat to 78F (26C) when you are home. This will still keep you cool while not breaking the bank!
  5. Stay connected
    • Staying connected with friends and family is a quick and easy way to make sure you stay safe in the summer. Whether you check in a few times throughout the day, or give them a call in the evening, it gives everyone piece of mind. You can even check on elderly neighbors to ensure their safety.

Make sure to stay cool during the heat wave and watch for the warning signs of heat related illnesses.