Online Buzz: Protect Yourself in Summer Heat
Although anyone can succumb to heat-related illness, people over 65 are at higher risk, partly because they don’t sweat as efficiently and have decreased circulation. To keep seniors safe in summer heat, try the following:
- Stay hydrated by drinking more liquids. Be sure to drink before you are thirsty and minimize your intake of alcohol and caffeinated beverages that can increase urination and subsequently dehydration.
- Wear cool, lightweight clothing. Loose, light-colored clothing in natural fabrics like cotton reflect the heat better than darker, synthetic clothing.
- Wear a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher, sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat when in the sun. For picnics or activities outside, choose areas with cool shade and ventilation. Also, no one should remain in a closed, parked vehicle when the mercury soars.
- Decrease strenuous, physical exertion in high temperatures. If you must be outdoors on hot days, choose the cooler morning or evening hours. To lower your body temperature when it’s sizzling, take a cool shower or bath.
- If you do not have air conditioning in your home, go to a community center, shopping mall, library or another home that does. Electric fans are of little help in preventing heat complications when temperatures inside the home reach higher than 85 degrees.
- Some senior diets and medications can increase dehydration through fluid and electrolyte loss. Certain antibiotics and diuretics can prevent the body from adjusting to heat and sun, so check with a pharmacist or doctor about medications that can exacerbate heat-related problems.
|Learn more about keeping seniors safe during hot weather. Visit the Right at Home blog to share your ideas about preventing heat-related illness, and to find the latest news about family caregiving and home care. || |
Next month: In the September 2012 issue of the Caring Right at Home online newsletter, learn how home care helps seniors stay safe during hot weather, storms and other emergencies.
Right at Home, Inc. is a national organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for those we serve. We fulfill that mission through a dedicated network of locally owned, franchised providers of in-home care services.