Beat the Heat: Summer Health & Safety Tips for Active Seniors
ComfortCare Homes provides a safe living environment for seniors to stay safe from the heat this summer.
Modern-day seniors are more active than seniors of previous generations. Many seniors depend on outdoor activities such as gardening, bicycle riding, and golfing for socialization and exercise. However, as the temperatures continue to increase, the dangers of seniors having a heat stroke increase as well. Intense heat can be extremely dangerous, especially for seniors who are susceptible to conditions such as heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and dehydration. All of those dangers come from the natural aging process of the human body, adverse effects from prescription medication, and underlying chronic conditions. Overexposure to heat for seniors can lead to serious illnesses or ultimately death in seniors. This is a major concern as research suggests summers are becoming increasingly warmer over time.
The best way to prevent having a heat stroke is to remain informed about the risk factors, alert about the daily temperature, and being prepared for the day, such as carrying around a cold water bottle. For those who live in warmer climates, this is extremely important once you factor in the humidity. By having a clear understanding of the factors associated with engaging in outdoor activities, you will be doing your body and overall health a huge favor. Summer only lasts for a few months, so take the opportunity to enjoy the season while making sure you’re always protected.
The following suggestions can assist seniors in remaining active outdoors while protecting themselves from having a heat-related illness.
- Stay alert. Know the symptoms of common signs of heat exhaustion, which include heavy sweating, pallor, muscle cramps, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, and fainting. Seek medical care right away in the event that you notice any of those symptoms.
- Stay hydrated. Do not allow yourself to become thirsty throughout the day. If you are planning on participating in a physical activity, consult with your doctor on how much water intake you need to remain hydrated and compensate for any dehydration due to medication.
- Stick to morning activities. The temperatures are typically cooler in the morning. Use this time to pursue any physical activities such as gardening or walking. If you feel yourself becoming tired, take a few moments within an air-conditioned area to catch your breath.
- Choose indoor activities. Do not allow the heat to keep you sedentary. Many senior health care plans include gym memberships so be sure to inquire about all of the services available with your plan.
- Bring a friend. Having a friend or partner around can help the two of you remain alert about energy and hydration levels. Additionally, having a friend around is great for socialization, which makes the activity more enjoyable for the two of you.
- Forget the stove. Using your stove or oven will bring more heat into your living area. Eating cold foods such as fruits, salads, and yogurt can be more beneficial to your health and convenient.
If you are interested in learning more information about preventing a heat stroke and remaining safe this summer, search for “heat safety” of AARP.org. Additionally, you can find more resources on senior health and wellness at newsroom.uhc.com [source]
For more information about memory care services provided by ComfortCare Homes, please call our office at (316) 444-0532.