Summer Safety for Seniors


Summer is in full swing! For many, the warm weather and extended daylight hours offer extra time to be outside.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people aged 65 years or older can be more prone to heat-related health problems. When we age, our bodies become less efficient at regulating temperature. There can be several reasons for this, but generally speaking, this is because older adults don’t sweat as much as younger people. Since sweat is the body’s most important heat-regulating mechanism, it can mean senior adults are at greater risk for heat stress.

However, there are steps people of any age can take to protect themselves in the heat. Whether you enjoy a drink on the patio, a walk through the park, or a friendly game of pickleball, use these tips to stay safe this summer. 

Stay Cool

Cool clothing is always in style. Wearing clothing made of natural, breathable materials, such as linen and cotton can help you beat the heat. Light-colored and loose-fitting clothes will help you regulate your body temperature as the thermometer rises.

The sun is the strongest between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Utilize the early morning or late evening for outdoor activities during the summer months.

Stay Hydrated 

Drink lots of water and eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to maintain your hydration. Drinking at least six to eight glasses of water daily can help you feel your best, especially when it is hot. If you exercise regularly or spend a lot of time outdoors, you may want to drink even more.

Want to liven up your water Try these tips:

  • Flavor your ice. Freeze fruit in an ice tray with some water and add the cubes to your water for a colorful and refreshing drink.
  • Add frozen fruit to your glass. Drop some strawberries, lemons, oranges, or cucumbers into your cup to give your water a fruity kick and a tasty treat when you’re finished.
  • Add herbs and flavor extracts. Infuse warm water with mint leaves or vanilla extract, then pour over ice for a delicious drink.
  • Try carbonation. If you enjoy a little fizz, look for carbonated water with added minerals or fruit infusions.
  • Crush some ice. A simple change in texture can make your water that much more enjoyable.

Review Your Medications 

If you take medication on a daily basis, you may need to take extra care in the sun and heat. Some medications may increase your sensitivity to ultraviolet rays from the sun making you more susceptible to sunburn. Other medications, like antidepressants and blood pressure medications, can cause heat intolerance. Be sure to review with your doctor or pharmacist if you have any concerns.

Protect Yourself From the Sun

Spending time outside is a great way to be physically active, reduce stress, and get vitamin D. However, if you’re not careful, you can have too much of a good thing.

No matter your age, it’s important to protect yourself from the sun. 

    • Wear sunblock. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that filters out both UVA and UVB rays and has an SPF of 15 or higher. Apply 30 minutes before leaving the house and periodically as you can.
    • Stay in the shade. Sitting in a shady spot will not only protect your skin, but it can also help prevent overheating.
  • Slip on some sunglasses. Sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays and reduce the risk of cataracts. They also protect the tender skin around your eyes from sun exposure. Sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays offer the best protection.
  • Try a hat. For the most protection, wear a hat that has a brim all the way around that shades your face, ears, and the back of your neck.

Bring a Buddy

If you’re heading out for a summer adventure consider bringing a friend or loved one. Time outside enjoying an activity you love is a great way to build relationships and enjoy the pleasures of great conversation.

Inviting a friend on your outing is also a great way to stay safe. If either of you start to feel unwell or run into trouble, you have each other’s support.

If you do choose to hike alone or do another activity solo, be sure to let someone know where you are going and when they should expect you back.

Make the Most of Summer With Senior Living

Senior living makes life a vacation any time of year! Residents enjoy a maintenance-free lifestyle filled with amenities that rival an upscale resort.

Instead of chores and to-do lists, you can take advantage of delicious chef-prepared meals, housekeeping, and other services that give you more time each day to do what you love. Whether you want to travel or spend time with your grandkids, senior living can help you maximize your retirement.

Many seniors choose to move into senior living communities for convenience, social engagement, and opportunities for care when needed. It’s not about simply keeping busy – Senior Star Signature Programs are designed to give residents choices to do what they want, find fulfillment, and thrive.

Source: Sun Safety: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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