Summer is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the warm weather with loved ones. It is important to be aware of the risks that come with being out in the sun for prolonged periods of time to ensure protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Older adults are more sensitive to high temperatures, especially those with chronic or underlying medical concerns. When the temperature outside surpasses 80 degrees, it is imperative to take the necessary precautions to stay safe during the summer months.
There are many easy steps to take this summer to stay safe while having fun!
- Avoid direct sunlight as much as possible. This is especially true between the hours of 10am and 3pm when the sun is strongest.
- Pay attention to the temperature. It is essential for seniors to be mindful of the temperature outside; if it is too hot, opt for an indoor activity with air conditioning.
- Stay hydrated! Drink water and other clear or light-colored liquids to make sure there is enough water in the body. Steer away from drinks containing caffeine and alcohol, which cause water loss through urination.
- Wear light-colored and loose-fitting clothing. Dark clothing attracts sunlight, and wearing light colors prevents overheating. Cotton or other clothing with natural fibers is a great option since they breathe easily.
- Do not partake in strenuous outdoor activities. These increase the risk of heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and dehydration.
- Wear sunscreen! Be sure to find a sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher for an added layer of protection against sunburns.
- Cool down with a cold bath or shower. This will decrease the internal body temperature and is also refreshing!
Risks of prolonged heat exposure:
Following these tips will greatly lower the risk of heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat syncope, and dehydration. Heat exhaustion occurs when the body cannot regulate its own temperature anymore and cannot cool itself down. If heat exhaustion is not cared for properly, it can lead to a heat stroke. Heat syncope is a sudden spell of dizziness caused by hot weather. Taking medications with beta blockers increases the risk of a heat syncope.
Some of the warning signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke are:
- Nausea or vomiting
- High body temperature (104 degrees or higher)
- Rapid pulse
- Heavy breathing
These conditions are serious, but by taking the proper steps, can be avoided. If you feel any of these symptoms, here is what can be done to prevent them from getting any worse:
- Sit down in a cool place, preferably with air conditioning
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Elevate the legs to get blood circulating back to the rest of the body and prevent swelling
Fun and Healthy Summer Activities at Wesley Enhanced Living
At Wesley Enhanced Living, our team of highly trained professionals are committed to the safety and well-being of seniors, especially during these hot summer months. Discover why our Personal Care, and Rehabilitation & Skilled senior living communities are perfect for you! Contact us about our Independent Living and nursing options today!
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.