Ahh, summer. The warm weather brings opportunities for scenic walks, backyard grilling, and relaxing with friends and family outdoors.
Heat Risks for Seniors
The heat, however, also poses health hazards, especially for seniors. They as well as children alike are more susceptible to heat stroke, dehydration and other heat-related illnesses, but are less likely to notice the warning signs of these ailments. The medications many seniors take can make them even more vulnerable.
Tips to Avoid Heat-Related Injuries
Fortunately, by following a few key tips, seniors can enjoy the summer as much as their younger counterparts. Here’s what seniors can do to ward off heat-induced injuries:
1. Drink water, and lots of it. Seniors should drink up to eight glasses of water each day whether or not they feel thirsty. Also, minimize dehydrating beverages like coffee and alcohol. Upping intake of water-heavy fresh fruits and vegetables also helps.
2. Avoid direct sun exposure. That means wearing sunblock and a hat, and sticking to the shade when relaxing outside. Keep clothing lightweight and layered.
3. Engage in strenuous activities in the morning or evening, when the sun is weak and the temperatures are cooler, and even then only after getting approval from a doctor. Midday is no time for a vigorous walk or to weed the garden.
4. Know the signs of heat exhaustion and dehydration: Nausea, dizziness, rapid pulse, disorientation, weakness and/or fainting. If you or a senior you know is experiencing these symptoms, move to a cool environment, drink water, remove excess layers and call for medical assistance.