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Summer Safety Tips for The Elderly

Date : Aug 17,2015
By : Pearl Whitehead

Summertime and the living is easy. With the sun shining, there are plenty of opportunities to have fun and relax outdoors. However, the heat can be dangerous for seniors if they neglect the proper precautions to undertake when being exposed to the sun. To assure you make the most of the weather responsibly, prepare yourself, older friends and family for the sweltering summer months of the year with these handy tips.

1. Stay cool
It’s important to not over do it in the sun, and to try avoiding being in direct sunlight around midday. Seniors who are coping with chronic medical conditions are vulnerable to increases in temperature. If you’re out and about, and start feeling overheated, pop in to the local shopping centre or super market. These public places are air conditioned, and if you contact a member of staff they would be more than happy to let you sit down somewhere and cool off. If you’re planning on lounging in your garden all day, make sure you have a parasol area that you can relax in the shade. If you’re feeling hot it is worth popping in doors for half an hour to cool down, you don’t want to risk getting sunstroke.

2. Keep hydrated
When having fun in the sun, it’s very important to remember to drink plenty of water often. Seniors are more susceptible to dehydration as they lose their ability to conserve water as they age. With this in mind, if you’re going on a long summer drive, or spending the day outside, be sure to pack some H20 along with your sunglasses and sunhat. With the temperature turned up, we lose a lot of water in our bodies through sweating so it’s important to keep your body topped up with fluids.

3. Wear the right gear
Everyone should dress accordingly when in the sun. Natural fabrics such as cotton are ideal for the warmer weather, as they won’t cause irritation and will allow air to reach the skin. You should avoid wearing synthetic fibers, as they will just lock the heat in, putting you at risk of becoming faint or unwell. Opt for shorts or an airy skirt instead of trousers. By letting your skin breath it will help keep your body temperature low so that you can soak up more of the heat without feeling unwell.

4. Wear your glasses
It’s recommended that you should be wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays projected from the sun. The brightness of the sun can cause irritation in the eyes, which can cause further damage. Besides, everyone looks cooler with a pair of shades on!

5. Sun cream and sunhats
Everybody should wear sunscreen when outdoors. Of course you want to get a tan, but to keep yourself healthy you must wear a high sunscreen. Don’t be shy of asking people to help put it on when necessary. There’s always that one bit of the back that no one can quite reach himself or herself. Hats are also really important, especially if you don’t have much hair on your head. No one wants a burnt scalp after all. A sunhat also keeps the sun out of our eyes, making it easier for you to see in the glorious sunshine.

6. Apply bug spray
During the summer, we want to spend as much time in the outdoors as possible outside. This can often spill in to the evenings as the sun doesn’t go down until later, and the temperature stays up too. The nighttime iswhen the mosquitos show no mercy! By wearing mosquito repellent you put yourself less at risk of getting bitten.

7. Sleep with less
Many people struggle to get a good night sleep during the warmer months of the year. You should change your duvets to something lighter, and better suited to the heat. If you don’t have air conditioning, you should invest in a side table fan. You could leave your window open but you put yourself at risk to getting bitten by mosquitos. Sleep in cotton pyjamas, with a big bottle of water so that you can keep yourself hydrated if you wake up in the night and first thing in the morning,

By Pearl Whitehead