The summer weather is a great thing, especially after a long winter. Consider the last year of isolation caused by COVID-19 and you have people yearning to get outside.
Once the sun starts shining every day and the majority of people are vaccinated, we’re surely going to start rushing to get outside. It’s going to be easy to overdo it, though.
As much as you want to be outside for that hot summer sun, don’t let it impact your health. From wearing a medical alert bracelet to properly covering up, here’s how seniors can stay safe amidst that summer glow.
What to Do When It’s Just too Hot Out
Your best bet when it’s exceptionally hot out is to just stay inside. We know, it’s not an exciting thing to hear, but you shouldn’t risk your health on especially hot days — more so on days where both heat and humidity are projected to be high. Instead, sit out on your porch or patio in stages, or simply go out for a few minutes at a time, briefly walking around the block to catch some sun rays and appreciate the weather.
Be near air conditioning
If you want to head outside, make sure to go somewhere you can escape indoors if needed. This can include going to a park that has a recreation center you can dip into or going to a family member’s house whose home is air conditioned. It might not sound like much, but it’s a simple, fast way to cool down when you need it most.
Wear your sunscreen
The unfortunate part of aging is that our bodies become weaker, in various aspects. It’s unfortunate, but it doesn’t mean we should stop protecting our bodies at all costs. That’s why seniors are highly recommended to wear sunscreen. UV rays can be harmful for any body, of any age, so it’s smart to always cover up any visible skin.
Cover your skin and your head
As mentioned, UV damage already impacts seniors — most of all, those who are at risk for developing cancer. That’s why it’s recommended that you shield yourself from UV rays in every way possible.
Besides wearing sunscreen, it’s recommended that you dress the part, too. What does that look like? It includes guidelines such as:
- A hat large enough to cover your head and shade your face and neck
- Long-sleeve shirts to cover your arms
- Long, breathable pants to cover your lower legs
Also, consider bringing an umbrella along. Any added shade will help protect your skin against further sun damage.
Keep fresh, cold water nearby
Wherever you go, make sure you bring cold water with you. Is there anything better than a long, cold drink of water when the weather's oppressively hot? Not that we can think of.
If you’re heading to the beach, consider bringing a cooler along filled with cold drinks. You’re sure to go through them if you plan on sitting on the beach for a few hours. If you’re heading out for a walk, carry a handheld water bottle that will keep it within arm’s reach. Hiking? Wear a hydration pack, which will allow you to carry a few liters of water right on your back.
Most of all, do whatever you can to keep yourself cool while out in the hot weather. Beyond wearing the right clothing and bringing along water, you’re going to want to consider a few other options.
First of all, go somewhere that’s shaded. A walk in the woods can be great on a hot day because the temperature will usually be cooler than the beach, thanks most of all to the tree canopy. However, you’ll have to be safe where you decide to go, as the isolation of the woods can present some dangers to anyone hiking out on their own.
If you’re going to the beach, make sure to bring along some blankets and an umbrella, parasol or pop-up tent. Your towel will allow you to comfortably sit on the sand while your coverage of choice will provide some much-needed shade.
Signs You Need to Cool Down
Even if you do everything to stay cool, it might not be enough — depending on how hot it truly is. Here are some signs that the weather is getting to be too much for you.
Dehydration is the first stage of heat-induced illness. Symptoms include excessive thirst, reduced urination and headaches.
One of the common side effects of heat exhaustion is drowsiness and confusion. With symptoms similar to dementia, this can be troubling for seniors, especially. Have a senior family member who is struggling with the disease? Provide them with an Alzheimer's ID bracelet to allow them to safely enjoy the weather without confusing symptoms. For instance, additional symptoms include fainting, nausea and vomiting.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of heat stroke, you might not even recognize it; however, the people around you will be able to blatantly see it. They include low blood pressure and the cessation of sweating, as well as entering into shock. Make sure that someone else is with you to ensure you never get to such a state.
Source: Syda Productions/Shutterstock
Noticing any other conditions while you’re out? Particularly as seasonal allergies crop up? Don’t think that allergy bracelets for kids are only meant for children. Medical ID bracelets can be worn by anyone of any age, providing important medical information in the event of a medically-induced emergency.
Do your best to stay safe this summer, all while enjoying the hot weather.