Senior Summer Safety Tips
Summer brings with it a sense of anticipation and a desire to get outside and be active. That’s great, but seniors with a higher sensitivity to heat should proceed cautiously when making plans in the sun. As long as you’re cautious and follow a few basic safety precautions, you should be able to enjoy most of the summer activities you can think of. Here are seven senior summer safety tips:
The standard recommendation is to drink 6-8 cups of water per day. If you plan to spend a lot of time in the sun, you should aim even higher to avoid dehydration. Invest in a water bottle you can easily take with you. Challenge yourself to finish it before getting home.
Don’t rely just on your body to notify you when you’re thirsty. One of the many minor annoyances of aging is that elders lose awareness of their thirst. So instead, be proactive about being hydrated and make sure you’re drinking water, sports drinks, or juice – sodas, coffee, and, especially, alcohol aren’t healthy hydration options.
Monitor How Long You Stay Out
If you reside somewhere where it becomes very hot, you should restrict your outdoor activities to a minimum. Don’t plan on spending the entire day in the sun — limit yourself to a couple of hours and then go inside for a break. You may not always notice the influence of the sun on you right now, but it may quickly escalate into something hazardous if you don’t take precautions to limit your time spent outside on hot days.
Before You Head Out, Check The Weather Forecast
On a 104° day, you don’t want to be taken off guard. Before you go out:
- Make sure you know what to anticipate from the weather so you can dress correctly and organize your day accordingly.
- Don’t take the chance of being stranded on a trek far from your car when record temperatures arrive in the afternoon.
- When the heat becomes unbearable, make sure your plans include easy access to the indoors so you can take breaks and cool off.
Keep Sunscreen Readily Available
Keep your sunscreen in your handbag at all times if you carry one. If you don’t have any, keep some in your car or wherever else you’ll be likely to find it when you need it. Set the alarm if you believe you will forget to reapply when necessary. These days, almost all phones offer that option.
Examine The Adverse Effects Of Your Medications
Some medicines make people more sun-sensitive. Check to see whether your medications require you to take extra care. It is unlikely that you will have to skip outside activities, but you will need to be especially careful to follow some of the other advice on this list to avoid difficulties.
If You Have Air Conditioning, Use It
Summer heatwaves can have severe implications for the elderly. It’s worth the extra money to make sure you’re relatively comfortable and safe in your own house. Consider purchasing an air conditioner if you do not already have one. If the cost is high, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program may be of assistance.
If you don’t have air conditioning in your house and can’t afford it, go to the mall, the movies, or the nearest library during the warmest part of the day. You can use their A/C for a short period before returning home when the day begins to cool down.
Early Warning Symptoms Of Heat-Related Diseases
These steps can help keep you safe from heat-related illness. Here you can learn about the symptoms of dehydration, heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and heat syncope. If you believe you’re suffering from any of these symptoms, don’t be afraid to speak out and request water, shade, or some time inside air conditioning.
At The Legacy Elder Law Center, we know that guiding clients through a difficult life journey takes more than a law degree. It takes the right kind of experience – both professional and personal. Contact us today at (703)-988-7975. We will help you get started on your comprehensive estate plan, asset protection, and planning for VA Aid & Attendance benefits.