How to Keep Seniors Safe and Cool in the Summer Heat
“Fun in the sun”. It’s something that we all like to have during the summer months, but when it comes to seniors, the heat is not always as kind to them as we would probably like. As a matter of fact, there are many studies which indicate that the older a person becomes, the harder it is for their body to properly adjust to extremely hot temperatures. And, as the body is unable to naturally cool itself off, it can lead to a heat stroke which, if not caught in time, can lead to a permanent disability or even death.
That’s why we wanted to provide you with a few ways that can help you to keep the seniors who you love safe and cool in the summer heat. Below, we’ve enclosed five wonderful tips to share with them just as soon as possible:
Watch what they wear. Older people tend to dress more modestly than those who are younger than they are. However, make sure that when it comes to their articles of clothing that they select fabrics that breathe well such as organic cotton, that it fits loosely and that it’s in lighter shades such as white and pastels. (Darker colors tend to absorb heat; lighter colors reflect it.)
Get them plenty of water (and water foods). One of the best ways to keep our bodies hydrated is to make sure we have plenty of fluids. This would definitely include getting 6-8 glasses of water per day, but also eating what are known as “water-filled foods” as well. Some of these foods include watermelon, cucumber, zucchini, blueberries, strawberries, grapefruit and salad. So make sure your senior has plenty at their disposal.
Keep them out of the peak heat times. No matter what the age, during the summertime, it’s really not the best idea to be outside between noon-4pm but this is especially the case for seniors. So, if they need to run errands or they’d like to take a walk, strongly encourage them to do so before 11am or after 5pm.
Turn on some fans (especially ceiling fans). If there’s ever a time when we all like to set our central air to a cool temperature, it would definitely be during the summertime. However, if you’re interested in getting the most bang for your energy buck, make sure that your senior turns on the fans in their home. Whether it’s something like a small portable fan, an osculating fan or a ceiling fan, it’s a great way to keep the cool air circulating so that you won’t have to solely rely on the central unit to do all of the work.
Keep the alcohol and caffeine (and soda) drinking to a minimum. It’s completely understandable that the senior in your life may want a cup of coffee in the morning, some wine with their dinner or even a soda during their favorite television program. Most of us do. But the truth about these kinds of beverages is that they tend to dehydrate the body and that’s the last thing that an older individual needs, especially during the summertime. So, try and discourage them from drinking a lot of alcohol, serve them herbal tea instead of coffee and serve up some mineral water with fruit juice instead of soda. These are all nice alternatives that will keep them thoroughly hydrated all summer long.