Now that June has arrived, we’re fully into the warmth of summer! Though summer can be a great time for the elderly, who tend to struggle with cold temperatures, the season can be dangerous as well. An elderly person’s body has a harder time adjusting, and heat can be just as threatening as cold. However, just because someone is elderly doesn’t mean they cannot enjoy the warm weather. Instead, they need to be smart about it! We are here to make sure you have the knowledge you need.
Summer is one of our favorite seasons, and in our last blog, we discussed several things to keep in mind when enjoying the great outdoors. Our tips included monitoring hydration levels, taking time to get cool, dressing properly, using sunscreen, and investing in eye protection. Today, we have a few more tips that will keep you or your loved one comfortable and healthy while soaking up the June warmth.
More Important Summer Safety Tips
Everybody needs a little sun and the ability to sit under a blue sky for a few minutes. Here are some things that can make summer life that much more safe and comfortable for you or your loved one.
Connect with neighbors.
- Community and companionship make all the difference, especially as we get older. This is part of what makes The Heritage such a fantastic solution for seniors who just need a little help with their daily activities. Our community is an incredible gathering of people with rich stories. If you are a senior and you still live at home, it can be a great idea to connect with younger neighbors who can check on you every now and then. This is especially important if you don’t have air conditioning and/or family nearby. While the safety benefits are obvious, having some companionship is the biggest benefit.
Learn what overheating looks like.
- Because the elderly body has a harder time regulating its temperature, it can be difficult for the elderly to know when they are at risk of getting too hot. Feeling too toasty is uncomfortable, but it can get into dangerous levels if your internal temperature gets too high. When you heat up like this, it’s called hyperthermia, and it can lead to heat stroke. Because heat stroke is life-threatening, you should know the signs of hyperthermia and what to do if and when you spot them.
- Flushed, dry skin
- A headache
- Nausea and vomiting
- The absence of sweat even though it’s hot
- A body temperature above 104 degrees
- A rapid pulse or heavy breathing
- A sudden change in behavior (getting grouchy, agitated, or confused)
- If you see any of these signs, get out of the heat, lie down, place ice packs on your body, and ask for medical assistance.
Use bug spray
- When the days are hot and humid, people tend to flock outside during the evening when things mercifully cool down. Unfortunately, this is when mosquitoes are at their most dense. That being said, mosquitoes are around all the time, and seniors are especially vulnerable to the diseases they carry. We’re talking about West Nile and encephalitis. Apply bug repellent to keep the pests and whatever diseases they may carry away!