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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Seven Summer Safety Tips for Seniors and Caregivers

Summer time is upon us; and, as the summer days get warmer and longer, so does our time spent outdoors.  This time of year families, including many seniors, begin to take a break from busy schedules to plan vacations, take outings to the park, complete landscape projects around the house or just spend time enjoying each other’s company relaxing in the sun on a beautiful warm day.  As the temperature and heat index rises, it is always good to remember several summer safety tips, especially for our seniors.

  1. Remember to stay hydrated.  According to the Mayo Clinic, older adults naturally have a lower volume of water in their bodies which makes it easier for them to become dehydrated.  So it is very important to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.
  2. Enjoy the Sunny Days Smart.  It’s okay to enjoy the warmer sunny days, but spend the time outside smart.  Avoid the sun during peak hours; between 10 am and 4pm.   Remember to wear sunscreen when going out.  Remember to hydrate even more than usual when out in the hot sun.
  3. Avoid the high heat and humidity.  Sometimes the days are just too hot and the humidity is too high.  Take the day to stay in and do things around the house while enjoying the air conditioning.  If you do need something from the store, don’t be afraid to call a friend or family member to do the errand for you.
  4. Review your Medications with your Doctor.  Some medications do not work as effectively if they are subject to higher temperatures.  Make sure to ask your doctor how to properly store your medication during the hot summer days.  Be sure to also check your medicine labels for any medications that may be sun sensitive.  Sun-sensitizing drugs are drugs that have side effects when people taking them are exposed to the sun.  Be sure to ask your pharmacist if you are unsure if any of your medications could have this side effect.
  5. Dress Appropriately. Your summer attire should be light-weight and loose fitting.  Fabrics like cotton and other natural fabrics tend to be more breathable than some of the synthetic fabrics like nylon and polyester. 
  6. Keep your Home Cool.  Yes, the air-conditioning causes the utility cost to increase, but your health is more important.  High temperatures can be life threatening, especially for seniors.  If your home is not air conditioned, consider staying with family during high temperature days.
  7. Know the Signs for Heat Stroke:  Heat stroke can be life threatening.  Heat stroke symptoms include high body temperature, dizziness, headaches, confusion and nausea.  If you or your loved one experiences these symptoms you should seek medical attention immediately.

Be sure to check on your loved ones and elderly neighbors as well to ensure that they have these summer survival tips for the upcoming hot days of summer.  We hope that these seven tips help you and your family to have a safe and enjoyable summer to make plenty of memories to cherish in the years to come. 

From all of us at Severns & Howard, have a safe, fun and Happy 4th of July!


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