At ISL, we love encouraging our residents to stay active and get outside, but we always make sure they’re doing it safely. Our residents are like family to us, and our care professionals are there with them every day to make sure they’re happy and well taken care of, whether our residents are independent living, assisted living or Generations Memory Care residents.
Warmer weather means cookouts, picnics, festivals, gardening and lots of other outdoor activities. While these may seem harmless, spending time in the heat can be especially dangerous for seniors. In fact, according to the EPA, people age 65-plus are several times more likely to suffer from heat-related cardiovascular disease than the general population. However, this doesn’t mean you should hide indoors. We’re here to give you some tips to make sure you have a safe and enjoyable summer!
- Stay hydrated – Did you know seniors are more prone to dehydration? Compared to when they were younger, seniors aren’t able to retain as much water, and their sense of thirst gets less precise. Make sure you’re constantly drinking water when you’re out in the sun, and try to avoid dehydrating drinks like alcohol and coffee.
- Avoid the sun in peak hours – Depending on where you live, the sun is strongest from about 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., so try to limit your sun exposure during these hours. Aside from its being the hottest part of the day, the UV index is higher than usual during these times, which increases your risk of getting a sunburn.
- Apply SPF – On that note, make sure to wear sunscreen every day, even if you won’t be in the sun for very long. Look for sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays, and reapply frequently. Remember to also protect your eyes from sun damage by wearing sunglasses!
- Know the signs – It’s important to know when the heat is making you sick. Heat stroke symptoms include high body temperature, dizziness, headache, confusion and nausea. If you’re feeling any of these symptoms, move to a cool, shady place and call 911 immediately.
- Keep the bugs off – Seniors are more susceptible to West Nile virus, so if you’re in a place with a lot of mosquitos, especially at night, be sure to protect yourself with bug spray to reduce your risk of getting bitten by a mosquito carrying this virus.
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