The Importance of Keeping Seniors Cool During the Summertime
Older adults are more susceptible to heat stroke than their younger counterparts. Someone who has a body temperature above 104 degrees Fahrenheit is likely suffering from heat stroke. Here, in the State of California, we’re pretty used to year-round heat. However, with the summer season quickly approaching, it’s vital to ensure that our elderly loved ones are kept safe from extreme temperatures. What should be done to keep them cool?
Seek Out Cool Places to Take Refuge from the Sun
While you’re likely to have a number of outdoor excursions on your summer to-do list, it’s important to make sure you always have an air-conditioned location nearby. Getting out of the sun at different points of the day is an effective way to prevent heat stroke, exhaustion, and dehydration.
“Good old-fashioned practices like running air conditioning and fans, closing curtains and blinds, and staying out of the sun during the heat of the day, can really help older adults stay safe and cool,” notes Kara Gavin of Michigan Medicine, “So can cool showers or baths, running cool water over parts of the body or keeping cool, wet cloths handy.”
Eat Extra Fruits and Vegetables
You’re not likely to ever encounter a list of health tips that don’t include a recommendation to eat fruits and veggies. It goes without saying that this food group is the most nutritious. So, in order to foster optimum health, be sure to get in your fair share each day. Eating fruits and vegetables is also a great way to stay hydrated. This is especially important for seniors during the summer as hot weather is well known to cause dehydration.
“Another way to help stay hydrated is to eat extra fruit and vegetables since they have a high water content,” reports Chartwell.com, “Consuming lighter meals more frequently throughout the day is also a good idea in very hot weather.”
Do All Outdoor Activities Early
In general, it’s highly recommended that seniors get in some light exercise each day. It improves blood circulation and promotes better overall health. During the summer, take your walks early in the morning. It’s best to avoid the hottest moments of the day, which are generally between 11:00 a.m. and 4 p.m. According to Gavin, ultra-hot days are not the right times to stick to your outdoor routines.
“Give yourself – or your loved ones – permission to skip the weeding, the walking, or the workout for a few days,” she encourages, “Hire a neighbor to walk the pet or mow the lawn. It is also probably a good idea to skip alcohol and caffeine, or at least cut back on them, during a heat wave. They can also affect your response to heat and ability to recognize problems.”
Take Cool Showers
The gentle massage of cool water running through our hair and down our back is one of the best parts of a hot summer day. However, many seniors avoid shower time because of their mobility limitations. At Forward Day, our Shower Bay portable showers make it easy for wheelchair users to bathe in any room of the home where there is a faucet nearby.