With summer finally here, it’s important to note that there is no such thing as being too prepared. Summer is a fun time of the year, and everyone should be able to enjoy it safely. Here we’ve presented some summer safety tips for seniors and their caregivers.
- Drink plenty of water. As the temperature rises, so does the amount of water you need to keep yourself hydrated. Going outside adds to these needs. Drink water all day long. (Morning coffee doesn’t count.) Dehydration is very dangerous. Muscle cramps, confusion, and disorientation can all be signs that dehydration is setting in. Avoid it entirely by keeping yourself hydrated. If you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrating.
- Know the safe hours. The sun is most powerful in the summertime between 10 AM and 4 PM. This means that UV rays are most powerful during this time. Sunburns, temperatures, and the risk of heat stroke are all at their highest during this time of day. Before and after this time period is when it’s safest to be outdoors. If you want to go outside during this dangerous time, then remember to apply sunscreen on all exposed skin. Protect your eyes with sunglasses and hats. Sunscreen won’t help avoid heat stroke but it will help avoid nasty sunburns that can contribute to heat issues and dehydration.
- Dress for the weather. Heat stroke is a very real danger in the summertime. Avoid it by dressing appropriately for the weather. Remember the three L’s when dressing for the outdoors: lightweight, loose, and light-colored. This will help keep you safe in the heat.
- Double check medications. It is likely that the elder in your care needs medication monitoring. A medicinal imbalance can result in a disastrous illness that would only be compounded by the heat of the day. On top of this, some medications are sun-sensitizing. This means that they cause photosensitivity, giving a negative reaction to the sun. These side-effects can be burning, rashes, redness, pain, inflammation, or itching. Check the medications that your senior takes. If their medicine is sun-sensitizing, it is best for them to avoid direct exposure to sunlight. It should be noted that not everyone experiences these negative side-effects. However, it is always better safe than sorry.
- Know the signs of heat stroke. You must be able to spot the signs of heat stroke as soon as they begin. Seniors are more vulnerable to the effects of heat stroke, so intervening as soon as possible is critical. Confusion, fatigue, lethargy, nausea, dry skin, and rapid pulse all indicate that a person may be experiencing heat stroke. If you notice these signs, seek medical attention right away.
The summer time is a fun time. Following these tips can make sure that everyone gets to have safe fun in the sun.