With summer come sunny days and high temperatures. So many of us love the outdoor activities we’ve come to associate with the season: barbecues, nature walks and gardening, to name a few. But everyone, especially seniors, needs to protect themselves from the heat. To help you get the most out of your summertime fun, we’ve outlined important tips on summer safety for seniors. Keep them in mind when planning your next adventure.
Summer Safety for Seniors
1. Stay Hydrated
This piece of advice won’t be a surprise to anyone, but proper hydration — especially in hot temperatures — is crucial summer safety for seniors. Drinking water helps deliver nutrients to cells, lubricates joints, staves off infections, and regulates high body temperature.
Many seniors report feeling less thirsty with age, but there are ways to make hydration more appealing. You can add flavor infusions or slices of citrus. You could try sparkling water — flavored or unflavored. If you still aren’t craving a glass of water, snack on foods with high water content: watermelon, cucumber, lettuce, strawberries, peaches, celery, tomatoes or bell peppers.
While you’re working on getting more water, avoid food and drinks that may dehydrate you. Salty snacks, sugary treats and alcohol can all impair your hydration goals.
2. Keep Cool
When temperatures are high and humidity levels rise, your body has to work harder to maintain its internal temperature. It’s a good idea to stay inside in the air conditioning as much as possible. But everyone loves to get fresh air. Simply try to schedule your outdoor activities before 10:00 a.m. or after 4:00 p.m.
3. Read Medication Labels Carefully
Side effects of some medications can make you more sensitive to the sun and heat. Blood pressure drugs, antihistamines, antidepressants and overactive bladder prescriptions can all make you more heat sensitive. And pain medications and antibiotics can increase sun sensitivity.
4. Wear Sunscreen and Sunglasses
This advice is good at any age, but skin becomes more fragile with age, making protection even more important summer safety for seniors. Use a sunscreen that protects from both UVA and UVB rays with an SPF rating of 30 or higher. Age can also weaken vision, so it becomes even more important for seniors to shield their eyes from the sun. Look for sunglasses that offer a lot of coverage around the eyes, so it’s harder for the sun’s rays to get in.
5. Dress in Light Layers
We mean “light” in more ways than one. Breezy, loose fabrics like linen or cotton will allow better airflow while keeping your skin protected from sunburn. Airflow over your skin allows any sweat to evaporate, which drains the excess heat from your body to lower high body temperatures. And while dark colors absorb heat and transfer it to your skin, lighter colors will reflect heat to help keep you cooler.
Prioritizing summer safety for seniors is just one of the myriad ways Timber Ridge at Talus makes overall senior wellness a top priority. While we love to host outdoor activities and indoor events, we make sure everyone can enjoy them to the utmost — without worrying about dehydration or summer safety concerns. If you’d like to find out more about Timber Ridge’s wellness options or our independent living options, reach out to us. A helpful member of our team would be happy to provide you more details.