Summers are almost here. The flowers are blooming, and the days are cheery and bright. This is the best time to relax, enjoy outdoors, and throw parties in the backyard. As we go deeper into summer months, the warm balmy air changes into a heatwave. This is the most dangerous time of the season especially for older adults, who are above 60. The rising temperature and the hot spell can cause health-related problems for seniors. Therefore, it is imperative that older adults take precautionary measures and implement some summer heat safety tips to survive the dogdays without falling sick.
It is important to note that old-age brings changes, especially to the body. As we grow older, our body’s ability to regulate body temperature and the immune system becomes less efficient. Therefore, elderlies are at greater risks of medical conditions that are detrimental to their health. The risk is higher if you are suffering from chronic illness, chronic pains or obesity. If you are aging-adult and you are concerned about the upcoming summer months that can be hazardous to your health, read on. Here, you will find simple summer safety tips for seniors.
Health-related Risks For Older Adults in Summer Months
There are several factors that put older adults at the risk of health issues in summer months. Unfortunately, neither old-age nor summer months can be escaped. However, one can always stay safe by taking some precautionary measures.
Heatstroke/Hyperthermia: It is the most common and severe form of injury due to heat. It is a state of medical emergency and must be tackled immediately with the help of a doctor as it can even cause permanent brain damage or damage to other organs. People over 50 are at the most risk. It happens due to prolonged exposure to the heat and dehydration. The body’s heat rises way beyond normal levels and the body is unable to cool itself down.
Sunburn: Skin irritation or damage from long hours of exposure to sun or it’s ultraviolet light is termed as sunburn. The skin goes red or reddish and it hurts to touch it. Protective measures are suggested in order to prevent permanent damage.
Food Poisoning: Spoilt food can be a cause of many foodborne diseases, especially in summers. In warm weather, bacteria multiply faster in food. It is the perfect environment for contamination and food poisoning. It’s suggested to eat wisely and cautiously.
Dehydration: Another common condition in the summer months is dehydration. It is the state when the body doesn’t have much water for it to function properly and it can happen in many ways such as fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and excessive sweating. All of these are common in summers and must be taken care of.
Apart from these issues, fever, viral infections, weakness, and other kind ailments are common in the summer months. Therefore, considering some tips for maintaining good health in summers is imperative.
Summer Health Care Tips
The first and the foremost thing that you must ensure as older adults are that your body is fueled up with enough water always. Seniors are more vulnerable to complications related to dehydration. Therefore, drinking water frequently is suggested, at least 6-8 glasses of water are recommended. There are times, we wait for the body to signal that it needs more water. Don’t depend on that. You want to fulfill your thirst before the emergency strikes. If you are planning to go out, always carry a water bottle that will help satiate your need for water. It even comes in handy in emergency situations.
During summers, chances of contracting food-borne diseases increase. And older-adults are most susceptible to bacterial infections due to contaminated food. As mentioned above, warm weather is the perfect environment for bacteria to grow faster and spoil the food quickly. Therefore, it is recommended to have homemade, well-cooked food. Eating healthy is also important to absorb important nutrients for the body that will strengthen the immunity system to fight against summer-related health issues. Meanwhile, several foods are rich in water content and antioxidants that keep the body hydrated at all time.
Consult the Doctor:
Talking to your doctor about your medication should be planned before the summer approaches. It is important to be prepared beforehand for the dogdays. Some of the medications may not be suitable for the summer season. At the same time, some of the medication might make the body more sensitive to the sun. Therefore, staying in touch with the doctor is of utmost important. If there are any changes in the prescription, it must be attended to immediately.
Wear Proper Clothing:
Weather appropriate dressing is encouraged for the seniors. It is one of the most important summer safety tips for seniors and must be adhered to as it will help you control your body temperature. Choose natural fabrics over synthetics is suggested and light-colors over dark clothes is recommended. Meanwhile, don’t wear too tight clothes. Loose clothing will offer enormous comfort and keep your body cool.
Not only seniors, everyone must wear sunscreen in summers to keep your skin from getting heat rashes or damaged. Sunscreen provides a shield from the sun and prevents conditions as serious as skin cancer. Also, keep your head covered with hats or scarves.
Whether it’s summers or winters, exercise is the best way to staying fit. Regular exercise will help you maintain your stamina and brave the heat of the scorching sun. It will keep you from getting tired and exhausted easily and make you feel energetic all day long. If you like to walk or workout outdoors, it is important to do so in the early mornings when the sun is yet to reach its peak. Also, ensure you drink plenty of water to compensate for the water you lost while sweating as you worked out.
Don’t spend long hours in the sun:
More summer heat safety tips suggest elderly to spend time in a cool environment or indoors. Spending long hours in the sun is not encouraged, especially between 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm, when the sun is at its peak. Sometimes, you may not even feel the impact of the heatwave, but it can be dangerous. Therefore, keeping your outdoor plans short is the best way to enjoy summers.
Stay Updated with the weather forecast:
The rapidly growing technology promises us many comforts. Make the best use of your smartphone and make sure to check the weather forecast before stepping out. These reports are near to accurate and allow us to plan our days accordingly. With the help of the weather forecast, you can dress accordingly and make the best of your outing.
These are a few simple summer health care tips that you can incorporate in your daily routine without disrupting it. These lifestyle changes will help you enjoy the weather to the fullest and keep you safe and healthy.