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Keeping Seniors Safe in the Summer Heat

Summer is finally here in CNY and chances are you can’t wait to get outside. With outdoor fun at the top of your activities list, it’s natural to want to bring your elderly loved one with you. However, the Sun affects us differently depending on our age! Seniors can be especially vulnerable to the sun’s rays and the heat they produce. It’s important to take steps to keep your loved one safe and enjoying the sunshine as much as you! Below are some tips that can help.

 

Pack Water

It’s simple: Consuming water can be one of the easiest and most important ways to keep you and your loved one safe in the summer heat. Packing extra waters, juices, or teas can help reduce the risks of dehydration. Make sure to stay away from only hydrating with caffeinated beverages as they can act as a diuretic and potentially increase the risk of dehydration.

 

Avoid the Afternoon

Scientists state that the sun’s UV rays are typically the strongest between 10am and 4pm. This means between these hours, seniors are at a higher risk for a sunburn, dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. When taking a loved one along for a summer adventure, try to plan something early in the morning or later in the afternoon to avoid the sun’s most intense rays.

 

Dress for Success

On those days where you just can’t avoid the mid-day sun, its best to have your loved one wear weather appropriate clothing. Loose, light-colored, light-weight, options are best to beat the summer heat. It’s important to cover the body’s most sun-exposed skin such as shoulders, tops of knees, ears, and faces. A wide-brimmed sunhat and sunglasses can go a long way when it comes to protecting your loved one’s face from the sun’s rays.

 

Stay Cool

This may seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes it can be unclear of what is too hot for an elder. Two major illnesses can occur from long exposure to summer heat: Heatstroke and heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion is a non-life-threatening condition that occurs when one is exposed to long periods of heat, especially when mixed with humidity and physical activity. Some symptoms to look out for in your elderly loved one are excessive sweating, dizziness, nausea, or headache. 

 

If heat exhaustion is not treated right away, it can develop into heatstroke. Heatstroke is a serious, life-threatening condition that should be treated immediately by a doctor. Both heat exhaustion and heatstroke can be avoided by making sure your elderly loved one stays hydrated, avoids strenuous physical activity during the sun’s peak hours, dress’s appropriately for the weather, and stays cool during the summer months.

 

With 19 specialized programs and facilities and 2,500 hundred dedicated caregivers, Loretto is dedicated to providing quality care to the Central New York Community. We proudly serve 9,000 residents and their families with a system of care that addresses the unique needs of every individual. Looking for more information on care for you and your loved one? Visit our Choosing Your Care page, or feel free to contact us!

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