Summer brings with it gorgeous sunshine and many opportunities to engage in outdoor activities. Going for a walk, gardening, or taking your pup to the dog park are all great ways to get outside and enjoy the warm weather. As seniors, however, it’s important to be extra careful to minimize the harmful physical effects of heat and humidity. Before you head out the door this summer, remember to take these simple precautions that will help keep you safe.
Here are couple suggestions to keep in mind when you are outside in the heat:
- Stay Hydrated: Make it a habit to carry water with you wherever you go. It’s better to avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks if you plan on staying outdoors in the heat for long periods of time. Water and fresh juices are best. If you feel like having an iced tea, consider an herbal one like peppermint with a dash of lime. Sliced fresh fruits and berries in iced water also taste delicious and refreshing.
- Remain Indoors during Peak Heat: If you do not need to be outside in the hotter afternoon hours, don’t. Instead, why not grab a good book, watch a movie, or chat with friends in your independent living community? When the temperature outside is cooler, you can resume your outdoor activities. Early mornings and evenings are good times to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air, without the scorching heat.
- Dress for the Heat: Choose breathable, natural fabrics like cotton and linen that are much cooler than synthetic fabrics. Lighter colors also attract less heat. A hat and sunglasses are not just for style; they also keep you safe from the sun’s glare and UV radiation. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen that is appropriate for your skin type.
- Stay Alert for the Signs of Heat Related Illness: Different health issues and medications may make you more susceptible to the heat. When you are aware of the symptoms, you are one step ahead:
- Heat Syncope – A sudden dizziness that can happen during activity in hot weather.
- Heat Cramps – A tightening of the muscles in your stomach, arms, or legs from hard work or exercise.
- Heat Edema – Swelling in your ankles and feet when you get hot.
- Heat Exhaustion – Feelings of thirst, dizziness, weakness, uncoordinated movements, and nausea.
Even though you may be in good health overall, keep in mind that dehydration can occur quickly and without warning. When you don’t get quite the right amount of hydration in your system, you may become weak and dizzy, develop a headache or muscle cramps, or even faint. You might also become confused and disoriented. These are all signs of dehydration. It is imperative to seek a place to rest, cool down, and take in plenty of fluids – for all of the above cases. If necessary, call your doctor.
Safety First During Summer Heat
At Wesley Enhanced Living communities, we help our seniors with plenty of opportunities to stay active and engaged. Now that the warm weather is here, we encourage you to spend more time outdoors, with the right safety precautions in mind. Go out and enjoy the summer months by dressing suitably for the heat. Bring along plenty of water and know when to head back indoors to avoid over-exposure.
Wesley Enhanced Living provides high-quality senior retirement communities for you or your loved ones. Contact one of our Philadelphia area locations and find out why our seniors love where they live. Our staff is happy to discuss your elder’s needs or your own and inform you of our range of services. Virtual tours are now available. Call us today for more information.