Summer is the season for fun in the sun, especially if precautions are taken to keep it festive. Nothing turns a dreamy beach day in to a nightmare faster than a raging sunburn. For seniors, increased temperatures can pose additional health risks, so preparation is key. Here’s a few tips to keep your cool this summer:
- Sunscreen is your friend. We’ve heard it over and over, but sunscreen is the first order of business when you’re spending time in the sun. For best results, apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes before exposure. Choose a sunscreen with SPF of 15 to 50, and don’t fall for sunscreens that tempt you to stay out in the sun longer than you should. Reapply often, and don’t forget the tops of the ears, toes and feet! Also, don’t forget the lip balm.
- Become a summer fashionista! Wearing the right clothes in the summer means you’re a smart dresser, literally. Hats are all the rage in summer, and protect the tender scalp from painful sunburns. Wear lose cottons and fabrics that breathe. Some Summer Fashionistas like to carry a light umbrella for strolling. It’s chic and practical. Also, protect your eyes from the sun, and get a good pair of sunglasses that block harmful UV rays. You’ll look mysterious, and see better.
- Stay hydrated. Make sure you and your loved ones are staying hydrated. Our bodies are made up of 50-75% of water, and as we age, we lose the ability to conserve water. Check with your doctor for recommendations on potassium and salt replacement drinks, if needed.
- Choose your activities wisely. Seniors have increased health risks in high temperatures. Swap the nature walk for a stroll through the mall, and enjoy the air conditioning- and the sales. Museums and movie theatres are also a great activity on a hot, summer day.
- Check in with medical providers to make sure medications are at their proper dosage, and what temperatures they must be stored at. Increased temperatures can impact the potency of some medications. Know the risks and signs of hyperthermia and heat stroke, including a body temperature over 104 degrees, dizziness, fainting, vomiting, confusion and dry, flushed skin. Call a medical professional immediately, find shade, and pack the body with ice.
Whether your summer day is spent at a family picnic, gardening, or reading a good book at the beach, taking a few precautions lets you have fun in the sun, worry-free.
We at Senior Living Management wish you a safe and happy summer!