With summer here and mini heat waves happening throughout most of the United States, it’s time to take a serious look at senior health. While the weather isn’t as hot as it could be yet, it’s still dangerous to the elderly. This is why it’s important to remember how to help them stay cool throughout the summer months and when to seek immediate emergency medical attention because they’ve grown overheated. Although they’re definitely not alone in dealing with this heat, it is more deadly for them than it is for younger people.
Tips for Staying Safe and Cool in the hot Weather
When it comes to staying safe and cool throughout this summer’s extreme Florida heat and humidity, here are some tips you should remember:
- When the temperature is above 90 degrees a fan won’t help you nearly as much as air conditioning. If you don’t own an air conditioner you should spend these hot days somewhere that does have it – like the mall, movie theater, library, or a friend’s house.
- Always wear loose fitting clothes that are light-colored.
- Make sure you drink plenty of liquids. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, it’s important to make sure you continue drinking. This doesn’t mean drinking caffeine or alcohol as they’ll dehydrate you even more. You’ll know you’re well-hydrated if your urine is light-colored.
- When leaving your home to exercise, make sure you do so early in the day before the sun is high in the sky and it’s really hot outside.
- Eat small meals, preferably ones that you don’t have to cook. You should also opt for foods that generally contain a lot of water like fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Keep a cool, damp towel draped around your neck and a spray bottle of cold water nearby to help you cool down.
- Shut the doors to those rooms that you aren’t using.
- Unfortunately, there are some medications that’ll inhibit your body’s ability to cool itself down. These include ones for high blood pressure and diabetes. Make sure you talk to your doctor about this.
- Close your blinds or your curtains so the sun doesn’t shine into your home. Open your windows during the cool times of the day only, making sure to close them by the time the temperature is 65 – 70 outside. This will help keep your home cooler without you running the air conditioner despite how hot it may be outside so you’ll also save money to use it when you need it the most.
Taking the Heat Seriously
When your body gets too hot, you may experience heat exhaustion. Its symptoms include:
- Extreme sweating
- Cold, clammy skin
- A slightly elevated body temperature
When this becomes a serious senior health problem you need to get the person into a cool location. They need to drink plenty of cool liquids, take a cool shower or bath, and rest. It’s important to catch this before the person has heat stroke, at which point they must go immediately to the emergency room.
Picture Credit: 123rf.com