Summer safety for seniors
As we dive deeper into summer and temperatures become increasingly hot, it’s important to stay cool and beat the heat to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones. For senior adults, this means being proactive about how you spend your time outdoors and indoors, too. Stay out of the sun and heat during the hottest part of day, but if you need to go out just remember to apply sunscreen to avoid sun damage like liver spots or skin cancer.
It’s important to stay in contact with your loved ones and check in on your neighbors to make sure they’re staying safe in the heat. Prepare for any situation and have several days of extra water and food in case of a power outage. Also, if you or someone you know has hearing loss, a caption phone may be beneficial, especially in emergency situations when you need to get a hold of someone quickly.
Did you know that too much heat isn’t safe for anyone? This is especially true for seniors who are at a greater risk of heat-related illnesses like heat syncope (sudden dizziness), heat cramps (painful tightening of muscles), heat edema (swelling in the ankles and feet) and heat exhaustion which can lead to a heat stroke (when your body is unable to cool down). Practice these summer safety tips for seniors and share it with your loved ones to ensure everyone stays safe this summer.
5 summer safety tips
- Stay hydrated. During the hot summer months, you’re more likely to sweat as your body tries to cool down. Water is a great source to keep hydrated, especially in the heat when dehydration is most common. See CDC recommendations on hydration here.
- Stay cool! If you have an air conditioner, fan or cooling unit, make sure it is serviced routinely so it works when you need it to. Emergency repairs are always more expensive and there is no guarantee that your HVAC company can send someone out the same day for repair.
- Dress for the occasion. It’s summer! This means shorts and comfortable sandals are in style. You can even wear light and breathable fabrics that can help keep you cool in the heat. Remember to choose lighter colors to wear that can help reflect the sunlight. Avoid dark colors like black that will absorb sunlight and make you break a sweat during these hot summer months.
- Get groceries delivered. You may find it too hot to do anything. If you feel more comfortable staying indoors with the air conditioning but need to go out for groceries, you’re in luck! The internet changes everyday life for seniors in several ways, including grocery delivery services like Instacart and Walmart+ for same-day delivery! You may even get a discount if this is your first time using their service.
- Stay active. Summer exercises are important to maintain your health and fitness which can reduce the chances of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Just be sure to stay safe – schedule those early tee times and get walks in while it’s still cool. Getting active is also a great way to socialize and communicate with others, which can also impact your health.
7 best exercises for seniors
Senior adults who stay active aren’t just contributing to their physical health, but mental health, too. Better Health reports that people who exercise regularly are less likely to develop mental illness and treat certain conditions like depression and anxiety. The CDC recommends that adults over the age of sixty-five exercise for at least thirty minutes, five days a week. No matter what exercise you choose to meet these requirements, make sure you have a water bottle at your side to stay hydrated.
Don’t know where to start? Join the YMCA or look for a local gym that offers indoor pools to avoid harsh rays from the sun. You’ll also be happy to know that swimming is the ideal workout for seniors because of its low impact to joints which provides comfort for those with joint pain. It also improves heart health, reduces the risk of osteoporosis, improves your muscle strength and boosts mental health. Reach out to a family member or friend and schedule a workout together to keep each other motivated!
Swimming might not be for everyone and that’s quite alright. There are other exercise options that can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle this summer and all year long.
- Water aerobics
- Chair yoga
- Resistance band workouts
- Bodyweight workouts
- Dumbbell strength training
Learn more about each exercise and the benefits at Senior Lifestyle.
Stay on top of wellness during these hot summer months and remember, safety and health start with YOU. Take every necessary step to ensure you and your loved ones have a safe and enjoyable summer. It’s time to beat the heat and start with one of our summer safety tips for seniors!