While we all enjoy the warm weather and assortment of outdoor activities associated with summer, the increasing temperatures can be difficult for many seniors to deal with.
Even though it is important for us to remain active as we get older, staying outdoors for long periods of time during the hottest part of the summer can be dangerous.
It is important that all seniors take precautions, in order to keep themselves healthy and safe during the warmest part of the year. Here are a few tips on how you can stay safe while you enjoy the great outdoors.
Dehydration can be serious for anyone, especially seniors. It is best to drink anywhere from six to eight glasses of water each day if you plan on staying outside in the heat.
As we get older, the feeling of thirst tends to decrease, therefore making it harder for seniors to recognize when they are actually thirsty. Always keep fluids nearby, especially if you are walking or doing any type of physical activity.
Choose to Go Outside Early or Late
Outdoor temperatures are generally at their highest between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm.
Therefore if you want to make the most of your time outdoors, you should choose to either venture out early in the morning or later in the evening, since this is the time when the heat will be less intense and easier to bear.
Wear Plenty of Sunscreen
You should always wear sunscreen that is capable of blocking both UVA and UVB rays, and one that has a sun protection factor (SPF) higher than 15 for best results.
Sunscreen should be applied at least 15 minutes before going outside.
If you plan on swimming, you will want to either choose a waterproof sunscreen, or remember to reapply once you are out of the pool.
Keep in mind that it only takes around 15 minutes for the sun to cause damage to skin that is unprotected.
Be Aware of the Signs of a Heat Stroke
It is important to learn about the signs and symptoms of a heat stroke, especially since seniors are more likely to suffer from this type of condition.
Common symptoms include confusion, dry skin, fatigue, headache and lethargy.
Other common signs include nausea and a fast pulse. If you notice any of these symptoms you should seek medical assistance immediately.
Check Your Medication Labels
Since many seniors take medication on a daily basis, it is important to read up on possible side effects due to sun exposure.
Some medications can cause increased sensitivity to the sun’s UV rays.
It you have any doubts, it is best to consult with your prescribing physician or pharmacist to find out if it is safe to be out in the sun for long periods of time while taking your daily medication.
Seniors who are healthy and active can benefit from being outdoors during the warm summer months.
However, there are some instances where it may be best to wait until the sun goes down, or to stay indoors where it is nice and cool in order to prevent serious health issues.
By following these tips, you can help yourself and others stay safe - and enjoy all the benefits of summer at the same time.