Senior Safety Tips To Help Keep You Cool And Healthy In Summer

Wednesday, June 12th, 2019
senior safety tips for summer

Everyone should take precautions to stay safe during the summer, especially the elderly. Even if you are healthy, the heat can cause dangerous conditions like heat stroke and hyperthermia. Here are some tips you and your family can use to stay safe and enjoy the summer!

Dress for warm weather

Protecting yourself from the rays of the sun can help you stay cool and safe. Be sure to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. You should also wear a hat to protect your scalp and face. Long sleeved clothing can also help, as long as it’s not too heavy.

Wear sunscreen at all times

Although this won’t help you stay cool, it will protect your skin from the sun. Most people wear lighter clothing and tend to have more exposed skin during the summer months. If you dress this way, always have sunscreen available. You can ask a family member, friend, or caregiver to help you apply sunscreen thoroughly.

Stay hydrated

It’s also very important to drink plenty of water. For senior citizens, it is especially vital because it’s more difficult for you to stay hydrated. Keep bottles or a filtered pitcher of water in the fridge so that good, refreshing water is readily available. Also, remember to pack water when going outdoors.

Talk to your doctor about medications

Some medications can actually be affected by temperature. You may find instructions for proper storage on your medication bottles. Pay attention to this, as the medicine may not be as effective in higher temperatures.

Not only can summer temps affect your medications, but they can also cause you to have adverse reactions to heat. This is because some prescriptions can cause you to sweat less or be unable to regulate your temperature. Speak with your doctor about the side effects of all your medicines to reduce the risk of overheating.

Keep cool, even indoors

It may not seem like increasing temperatures can affect you that badly while you are indoors. But, even small changes can be harmful. Using your air conditioning is one of the best ways to stay cool in the summer, but sometimes that is not an option. Here are some tips you can use if your air conditioner doesn’t do the trick or if you want to conserve that energy/expense.

  1. Use fans to move air around your home.
  2. Besides large fans, you can also use a personal fan that sprays a mist of water.
  3. Visit places that are well-ventilated or have air conditioners. This can also help you stay active.
  4. Eat something cool, like a popsicle.
  5. Avoid overexerting yourself on hot days, even if you think you are physically capable.
  6. If you exercise, be sure to do so in a well-ventilated, indoor area.
  7. Stay in contact with people. You should be open about your health and let someone know if you think you are in danger.

What are the most dangerous conditions caused by heat?

The following are two of the most dangerous conditions that can be caused by being hot for too long. Elderly people and those who do not stay hydrated are most at risk. It is important to be familiar with these to make sure you are safe this summer.

Hyperthermia

  • This term encompasses a number of conditions, all of which show that you should listen to your body and try to keep cool.
  • Heat cramps occur in your muscles when you are exercising or overworking them. Although your temperature stays the same, you should cool down if you begin to get cramps.
  • Heat syncope happens when you are out in hot temperatures, typically overworking yourself. You may feel dizzy or faint if you experience this condition. Heart medicines like beta blockers can make symptoms worse.
  • Heat exhaustion is a well-known condition that indicates your body cannot regulate your temperature. Symptoms include dizziness, thirst, nausea, and weakness. Sweating and a rapid pulse can also occur. If you think you have heat exhaustion, make sure to cool down as fast as possible.

Heat stroke

This dangerous condition requires immediate medical attention. If your air conditioner does not work or you overexert yourself, you can get heat stroke. Common symptoms include confusion, dizziness, an elevated body temperature, agitation, lack of sweat, a rapid pulse, and dry skin.

Staying fit and healthy with Bivins Pointe

If you love staying active during the summer but are concerned about your safety, you should speak with a healthcare professional. At Bivins Pointe, we understand that staying fit (and safe) is vital to your health. That’s why we offer outpatient therapy along with gym memberships at our Bfit Gym for people 55 and over. With over 3,000 square feet of space and specialized equipment for both exercise and therapy, there is something for everyone.

To learn more about the Bfit Gym, call us at (806) 350-2200or contact us by email. We also have inpatient rehabilitation and a luxury neighborhood for long-term care, as well as volunteer opportunities and events.