With summertime finally here, everyone wants to get outside and bask in as much of that glorious sunshine as we can. For seniors, it’s important to be smart about just how much of that sunshine you intake. As the temperatures climb, so too can the risk of health-related emergencies, such as dehydration, sunburn, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. If you are tired and dehydrated, you are at greater risk of falling or fainting and potentially hurting yourself. Here are a few important tips for ensuring that you avoid any burdens from that sun so that you can make the most out of the summer this year.
Senior Summer Safety Tips
For seniors – and everyone – with the heat comes increased perspiration which means your body loses a lot of water. Throughout the day, it can be easy to forget to rehydrate. Keeping a water bottle on hand is imperative for ensuring that you drink enough water and prevent dehydration. Remember, if you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated! Drink at least one cup of water per hour.
Wear Appropriate Clothing
It’s always a good idea to plan out your clothing according to what you will be doing throughout the day. If you are going for a stroll in your wheelchair or heading to a family day at the beach, wearing appropriate clothing that will shield the sun while keeping you airy and cool is always a smart way to prepare. Always plan ahead and don’t forget that hat! Wear light-coloured, loose-fitting clothes made of breathable fabric. It is also wise to dress in layers, as temperatures can fluctuate widely between the morning, midday, and after sunset.
Avoid the Hottest Part of the Day
We’re all guilty of it, but for seniors, trekking outside during the hottest part of the day can be overwhelming, especially when you’re not used to it. So whatever is on the agenda, make a plan in the early or later portion of the day in order to avoid that blazing sun and those stifling, peak temperatures. If you must run errands during the middle of the day, seek shade, take frequent breaks, do not overexert yourself, and listen to your body if you feel faint, dizzy, or tired.
Finally, wear sunscreen. Clothing and a hat can only do so much. Applying a coat of sunscreen to your skin, focusing on the areas that are most exposed, is one the most assured ways to prevent a sunburn. And if you know it’s going to be an all-day outing in the sun, bring it along with you so that you can re-apply it every few hours.
Ensuring the safety of seniors during the summertime requires simple planning and some good sense. Hydration is always key in avoiding heat stroke and dehydration. Dressing appropriately, applying sunscreen and avoiding the hottest parts of the day are all essential ways to ensure this summer is free of any heat-related emergencies. When you’re heading out for some fun in the sun, use this quick guide to ensure you’re prepped and ready.