It’s summertime and this is the perfect time to relax and enjoy the sun, but it is important to make safety a priority especially as the temperatures increase. The American Geriatric Society’s Foundation for Health in Aging (FHIA) reports that most of the 200 American fatalities occur during the summer months, many of whom are over the age of 50.
Rising temperatures can be very dangerous to seniors, here are some safety tips for remaining healthy in the summer heat:
•Take cool showers, baths, or sponge baths
• Turn on the air conditioner or go to an air-conditioned place—senior center, mall, movie theater, or library, for example.
• Avoid strenuous activity
• Stay indoors during excessive heat
• Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
If you have elderly family, it is important to check on them often. Family and professional caregivers can make a special effort to help ensure that seniors are properly hydrated with water.
Seniors over the age of 50 are more prone to overheating in the summer because as they age they begin to sweat less and their bodies store fat differently. Because of this, their bodies aren’t able to regulate their internal temperature as easily as younger people can.
Signs of Heat Exhaustion
Heat exhaustion is a warning that your body cannot cool itself. Symptoms include:
• Poor coordination
If you notice signs of heat exhaustion it is important to use methods to cool them down
Here are a few options:
• Rest in a cool place
•Drink plenty of fluids
• Take a cool shower or sponge bath
This condition can turn into heatstroke, so if the symptoms continue, seek medical attention right away. Heatstroke is life-threatening and requires emergency medical attention so be sure to call 911 right away.
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