Keeping Seniors Safe in Summer

Now that summer is here, it is essential for senior citizens to ensure they are properly prepared for the season. Below are some tips to help seniors stay safe in the heat.

Stay Hydrated

One of the most important ways for seniors to stay safe in the summer is to stay hydrated. The body is not able to retain as much water as it ages, nor can it recognize the need for water as much. It is recommended that seniors consume at least 8 glasses of water each day. Be sure to stay away from soda and other caffeinated drinks, along with alcohol, as they can increase the risk for dehydration.

Stay Cool

It can be difficult for seniors to stay cool in the summer if their residence does not have air conditioning. A window air conditioning unit is an alternative if seniors do not have central air conditioning. Purchase oscillating fans to help cool the apartment. Be sure to keep all blinds and curtains drawn to keep out the hot sun. A cool bath or shower will help to keep seniors more comfortable. When temperatures really soar, seniors should see if they can stay with a relative or friend who has air conditioning. Otherwise, seniors can visit locations such as libraries, senior centers, or malls to stay cool during the day.

Safeguard Medications

Seniors should be aware of how extreme heat can affect any medications they are taking. As an example, seniors who take diuretics are more at risk for dehydration, as water loss is a side effect of the medication. They should consult with their health care professional if they have any questions on medication.

Wear Proper Sun Protection

When venturing out in the heat, seniors should wear sunscreen, light-colored, breathable clothing, sunglasses, and a hat. It is best to plan any outings or errands in the early morning or early evening to avoid peak sun hours.

Know The Symptoms of Heat-Related Illnesses

Whether in the home or outside, seniors should know the signs of heat-related illnesses. Heat exhaustion occurs when in the heat for too long or the body’s fluids do not replenish. Signs include difficulty breathing, tiredness, nausea, and excessive sweating. Heat stroke is a more serious heat-related illness, which can be very dangerous if not treated properly. Signs include feeling dizzy, an upset stomach, confusion, headache, and a high body temperature. Seniors should go to the nearest emergency medical center if they are experiencing any of these signs.

Take Care of Pets

As always, seniors want to make sure any pets are also well-cared for in the heat. Ensure they are getting enough water and not getting prolonged sun exposure. Seniors with dogs can see if a friend or relative can take them for a walk.

Please contact Care to Stay at Home of Spokane at 509-340-1359 if you or your loved one need additional assistance.

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