Summer is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the weather, especially if you’re retired. But it’s important to remember that as we age, our bodies don’t react the same way to heat and sun exposure as they did when we were younger.
Heat exhaustion and stroke can be especially dangerous for older adults in senior living communities in Florida. Take these precautions during the warmer months to keep yourself safe:
When you’re outside in the sun, sunscreen is essential. This will help protect your skin from the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation. But sometimes people don’t use enough or forget to reapply after being in the sun for a while.
When this happens, they could have a higher risk of developing skin cancer later in life. If you live in an assisted living community with outdoor activities like gardening or walking around town with friends, apply sunscreen before heading out!
The most common heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and dehydration, can be prevented by drinking plenty of fluids.
Drink at least two quarts (64 ounces) of cool liquids each day unless you are instructed otherwise by your doctor or healthcare provider. Avoid drinks with alcohol, caffeine, or large amounts of sugar because they can cause you to lose more body fluids than you take in. Sports drinks may be helpful if you exercise for a long time in hot weather; however, they should not replace water as part of your daily fluid intake.
Avoid the Sun During Peak Hours
When the sun is at its peak, it can be pretty dangerous for older adults. The rays are more intense and can cause damage to the skin. The best way to avoid this is by staying indoors during those hours, but if you do need to go out in the heat of the day, make sure that you wear sunscreen and a hat.
Monitor Medication Side Effects
In addition to sunscreen and other sun-protection measures, it’s important to monitor medication side effects when the weather is sunny. Many older adults take drugs for high blood pressure, diabetes, and other conditions that can cause dehydration. Suppose you’re concerned about your loved one’s medications. Ask their doctor about adjusting them accordingly during warmer months. This way, they don’t suffer from dangerous side effects like dizziness or fainting spells.
When the temperature is hot, it’s essential to dress appropriately. The best way to do this is by wearing lightweight clothing that is loose-fitting and light colors. Dark colors attract heat and will make you feel hotter than you would in lighter colors.
Dresses and skirts should be knee length or shorter so they don’t get caught in an opening or on furniture while walking around your senior living community. Men should avoid wearing shorts unless they are athletic shorts made specifically for active wear (and even then, it may still be too warm).
Limit Your Time in the Sun
Limiting your time in the sun is important, especially if you have a history of skin cancer or other skin conditions. If you must venture out into the sun, wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Sunny weather is an excellent opportunity to get outside, enjoy the nice weather, and do fun activities. The sun can also be dangerous for seniors who are not used to being exposed to it. But with these tips and reminders, we hope you’ll stay safe and enjoy the season!