Top Ten Summer Safety Tips for Seniors

Now that Memorial Day has past and the summer months are upon us it is a great time to review some helpful tips for seniors to beat the heat! Below is a list of the top ten things that seniors can do to stay safe during the summer months:

1. Drink plenty of fluids – Follow the rule of “8’s” Aim to drink 8, 8 ounce glasses of water per day. It is extremely important to stay hydrated! Remember that by the time you “feel” thirsty you are already dehydrated. Stay ahead of dehydration and drink water throughout the day.

2. Turn on your air conditioning – Air conditioning is especially important when it is hot and humid outside. If you do not have access to an air conditioner, spend the day in a cool spot, like the mall, a friend or family members house, the library, a restaurant or movie theater. You may also call the free cooling centers locator line at 1-877-474-3266.

3. Avoid the hottest part of the day – The sun is the most intense between 10 am and 4 pm, so try to stay inside in a cool place during these times. If you must be outdoors limit your exposure to early morning or evening when the temps are lower and the sun is less intense.

4. Wear the right attire – Wear loose, light-weight, light-colored clothing to help protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Wear wide-brimmed hats and sun glasses that block UVA and UVB rays.

5. Wear sunscreen – Wear sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays and has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Make sure you apply it about 15-20 minutes before exposure, and reapply frequently (every 30-60 minutes during exposure).

6. Know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke – Signs to look for include confusion, disorientation, dry skin, lethargy, headache, nausea, rapid heart rate, muscle cramps/ weakness and cessation of sweating. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

7. Take a shower or bath – Cool off with a cool shower or bath; this is a great way to cool down quickly and is much more effective than an electric fan.

8. Plan ahead – Check the local weather forecast and plan ahead for hot days. Make sure you have a plan that includes access to fluids and air conditioning. If you know that they are calling for a heat wave be sure your air conditioning is in working condition.

9. Review your medications – Many medications have side effects associated with increased sensitivity to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Review all medications and call your doctor, pharmacist or nursing agency with any questions.

10. Check on family and friends – Beat the heat by calling friends and family and plan get together in places that have air conditioning. If you know someone who does not have access to air conditioning be sure to check in on them and make sure they are safe.

If you or someone you know is in need of extra care over the summer months, please call us at 610-933-6130 to inquire about a home health aide!

Stay safe and enjoy the summer!!