Summer Safety Tips for Seniors

 With less than two weeks away from Summer’s official start, warmer weather, backyard barbecues, and dips in the pool are just around the corner. This is a great time to relax and enjoy the sun, but it is important to make safety a priority especially as the temperatures increase.  Sunshine, as beautiful as it may be, brings with it a few conditions that can greatly impact healthy living.  The American Geriatric Society’s Foundation for Health in Aging (FHIA) reports that most of the 200 American fatalities occur during the summer months, many of whom are over the age of 50.

FHIA warns that temperatures in the low 90s can be very dangerous to seniors and offers seniors and their caregivers a wide variety of hot weather safety tips.

Recommendations include:

  • Turn on the air conditioner or go to an air-conditioned place—senior center, mall, movie theater, or library, for example.
  • Stay indoors during excessive heat, and when outside, avoid the sun as much as possible, wear hats and sunglasses, and use SPF 30 or higher sunscreen
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
  • Avoid strenuous activity
  • Take cool showers, baths, or sponge baths

If you have elderly family, it is important to check on them often. Family and professional caregivers can make a special effort to help ensure that seniors are drinking adequate amounts of water. This includes keeping a variety of hydrating beverages on hand like water, Gatorade, milk, or tea.

Use the urine test to confirm whether you or a loved one is drinking enough. Light yellow urine is usually a sign that liquid consumption is adequate, while darker urine may signal that more liquid is needed.

Beware of Heat Illnesses

Heat exhaustion is a warning that your body cannot cool itself. Symptoms include:

  • Thirst
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Poor coordination
  • Nausea
  • Sweating

If this is the case, rest in a cool place, drink plenty of fluids and take a cool shower or sponge bath. This condition can turn into heatstroke, so if the symptoms continue, seek medical attention right away. Heat stroke is life threatening and requires emergency medical help. After calling 911, get the individual to a cool place. Signs of heat stroke include fainting, body temperature above 104° F, confusion, irritableness, staggering, dry, flushed skin, strong, rapid pulse or slow, weak pulse, not sweating, acting delirious or being in a coma. Stay safe, healthy and hydrated this summer!

Remember to check our blog frequently for health tips and information. BEK Medical is dedicated to providing home medical supplies that help encourage healthy lifestyles.  View our shop for a wide variety of equipment designed to make your life easier!