6 Summer Safety Tips For The Elderly

While family vacations are quickly approaching, it is important to remember that seniors require additional care this time of the year! Just as the heat of the sweltering summer months tend to take a toll on our own bodies, for seniors, the problem is worse. Studies have shown that the summer heat has the potential to be critically dangerous and damaging for seniors unless the proper precautions are taken in advance. If you’re unsure of what these are, be sure to keep reading to check out our list of 6 summer safety tips we’ve compiled just for you and your loved ones!

  1. Stay Hydrated

With age, seniors will slowly lose their ability to conserve water, making them more susceptible to dehydration than younger folks. While victims of dementia will often forget to eat or drink, seniors are generally less aware of their thirst and hydration levels. Therefore, it is our job to ensure that they stay hydrated. If you or a loved one are going on a trip this summer, be sure to to pack lots of water or sweat replacement drinks (ie: Powerade) to replace the water that our bodies are losing this time of the year!

  1. Talk to Your Doctor

Check with your medical team to make sure any medications you are on won’t be affected by the higher temperatures — especially if you don’t have air conditioning in your home! Believe it or not, some medications are less effective when stored at a temperature that is higher than room temperature. Prevent your medical condition from being unnecessarily aggravated by using this tip!

  1. Keep Your Cool

Even small increases in temperature can shorten the life expectancy for seniors who are coping with chronic medical conditions. If a senior’s home isn’t well circulated or air conditioned, consider taking them to shopping malls, movie theaters and libraries which all provide a cool and welcome space to keep them from overheating in their house. As an added bonus, this is also a great opportunity to help them sneak in some additional exercise without the exhaustion of the heat!

  1. Stay in Touch

Since the high temperatures can induce heat strokes and other life-threatening conditions, communication plays an key role in ensuring the safety of our seniors. If you (the senior), are planning on spending an extended amount of time outdoors, be sure to notify a family member ahead of time If your family members are unavailable, consider asking your neighbor to keep an eye out on you. You can never be too safe!

  1. Protect Your Eyes

Believe it or not, vision loss is very common among the elderly! Too much exposure to the sun can irritate one’s eyes and cause further damage. To prevent this from happening, protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and preserve your vision by wearing sunglasses!

  1. Know the Risks of Hyperthermia

During the summer, be particularly cautious about abnormally high body temperatures – it could be hyperthermia in action! Heat stroke is an advanced form of hyperthermia that can be seriously life-threatening so it is important to know the warning signs and seek medical attention immediately if you or anyone you know is experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Body temperature greater than 104 degrees
  • A change in behaviour, such as acting confused, agitated or grouchy
  • Dry, flushed skin
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Heavy breathing or a rapid pulse
  • Not sweating, even if it’s hot out
  • Fainting

We hope these 6 summer tips we shared will help keep you or a loved one safe this summer! If you have an important tip you think we missed, be sure to share it with us below! At Skilled Therapies, our mission is to help seniors effectively improve their quality of life. For more information or assistance on topics like this, feel free to contact us at 925.271.9100 or drop by one of our 6 convenient locations today.

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