Summer is fast approaching, and along with it comes the summer heat many of us dream of all winter long! Before you grab your beach towel and run out the door to soak up those rays, keep in mind seniors are more prone to the effects of heat, and so it’s important to review some vital safety tips for this time of year.
According to the CDC, seniors are more at risk of heatstroke and dehydration because they do not adjust as well to temperature changes. Seniors are also more likely to have a chronic medical condition, resulting in their bodies reacting differently to this change in temperature.
One of the most serious heat-related illnesses is heatstroke. This occurs when the body is unable to control its temperature. The body temperature rises rapidly, but as the body loses its ability to sweat, it’s unable to cool down quickly enough, with the body temperature rising to 106°F or higher within just 10 to 15 minutes. Heatstroke is an extremely dangerous condition, which can result in death or permanent disability if not treated with a sense of urgency.
This summer, keep an eye out for the warning signs of heatstroke. These include a high body temperature, headache, dizziness, hot and dry skin, and nausea. If you or your loved one experiences any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention and relocate out of the sun straight away.
Beat the Heat This Summer
This summer, follow these top safety tips listed below to protect you and your loved ones from the heat:
- Consume food and drinks which contain sodium and potassium. These help to restore the electrolyte balance in your body, which can also be achieved by consuming electrolyte drinks.
- Check your loved one’s air conditioning system. Ensure you carry out a full maintenance check to avoid it shutting off during the peak of the summer.
- When planning activities with senior members of your family, avoid meeting up during the hottest part of the day. Plan activities that require going outside during the cooler hours, such as first thing in the morning or once the sun has set for the day.
- Be aware of the signs of heatstroke, heat exhaustion, and dehydration. If your loved one exhibits any of these symptoms, ensure you get help immediately. Heatstroke must always be treated as an emergency, and medical assistance is required straight away.
- Drink at least nine cups of water every 24 hours. Don’t replace water with soda or caffeinated drinks, as these don’t offer the same hydrating benefits as pure water. Seniors tend to forget to drink enough in the summer, which can cause one of the conditions listed above.
- When working out, always try to find a cool indoor location to exercise. During the higher temperatures, avoid high-intensity activities, which may increase the body temperature suddenly.
While the summer is one of the most exciting times of the year for families to spend time together, protect your family members by following these tips listed above. Avoid spending time outdoors in the middle of the day, and ensure you call for immediate assistance if you or your loved one is experiencing any of the symptoms of heatstroke this year.