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Summer Tips For Our Seniors

June 30, 2017

 

The summer months are predominantly spent outside in the warm weather enjoying the warm sunshine.  But the heat and sun can be dangerous for us all and even more so for seniors, if precautions aren't taken.  You and your loved ones caretaker can easily ensure their summer is an enjoyable one by following these few tips.

 

  1. Stay Hydrated
    Number ONE and most important as Seniors are more susceptible to dehydration than younger people because they lose their ability to conserve water as they age. They also can become less aware of that they are thirsty and forget to drink.  When a person gets dehydrated, it makes it hard for all of their body's systems to function properly, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Symptoms include: Feeling thirsty, Having a dry or sticky mouth, Not urinating much, or having dark-colored urine, Having headaches and experiencing muscle cramps. If dehydration is severe, symptoms will expand to include rapid heartbeat, dry skin, dizziness, confusion and rapid and shallow breathing. So making sure they are drinking plenty of water and other drinks that contain salt and potassium, like Gatorade to replace water they are losing when they sweat. If drinking water is hard because their dehydration has made them feel ill, they may opt to suck on ice cubes or gently sip water instead.

  2. Check Medications
    Check with your loved ones doctors to make sure any medications won't be affected by the heat.  

  3. Use Sunscreen and Wear a Hat.                                                                                                                           Everyone, young and old, should wear sunscreen when outdoors. The elderly especially need the extra sun protection to help keep them healthy. Caregivers, family and friends can help by gently reminding loved ones about applying sunscreen and helping to put it on when necessary. Hats are also a great idea, especially for those with light colored hair and those with only distant memories of a full head of hair.

  4. Protect Your Eyes
    Vision loss can be common among the senior population, and too much sun can irritate eyes and cause further damage. Wearing sunglasses can protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and preserve your vision.

  5. Apply Bug Spray                                                                                                                                                       Seniors are particularly prone to West Nile Virus and encephalitis.  If you are in areas where there are a lot of mosquitoes and where West Nile Virus is present, use mosquito repellent to help reduce the risk of getting bit by a mosquito carrying this virus.

  6. Know the Risks of Hyperthermia                                                                                                                           Heat stroke is an advanced form of hyperthermia that can be life-threatening.  These are the warning signs, if you or loved one is experiencing these symptoms, please seek medical attention.     Body temperature is greater than 104 degrees,   A change in behavior, such as acting confused, agitated or grouchy, dry, flushed skin, nausea and vomiting, headache, heavy breathing or a rapid pulse, not sweating, even if it's hot out, and fainting.

 

 

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