While summertime often means fun in the sun, and beautiful warm weather, it is not without its share of dangers for the senior population. Let’s look at some tips on how to beat the Texas heat and make sure you stay safe throughout this summer!
Older adults are extremely susceptible to dehydration so make sure you drink plenty of water. Caffeine can also contribute to dehydration so limit your intake of soda, teas, and coffee during the summer month. Opt instead for a caffeine-free tea, sports drink or water. If you prefer something with flavor, look for flavor additives for your water at your local grocery store or add in sliced lemon and cucumber for an extra refreshing summertime drink!
Dermatologists recommend you wear SPF 10 sunscreen every time you leave the house. If you are planning to spend any time in the sun, especially during the summer, look to wear at least a 30 SPF sunscreen. Seniors are particularly sensitive to the sun's rays, so it is important their skin remains covered or protected at all times.
If you enjoy exercising outdoors, make sure you try to complete your workout before midday. Ideally, you should wake up early and be complete at around 9 am at the latest. The morning is the coolest time of the day, but once the sun begins to rise, things heat up quick! If you are not able to complete your workout in the morning, try going for a less strenuous walk in the evening time an hour or so before dusk.
Protect Your Eyes
Eye problems affect 1 in 6 adults over the age of 45, and the chances of vision loss increase dramatically with age. So, it is important to protect your eyes as much as possible to prevent further damage. A simple way to do that is to invest in a pair of quality sunglasses that can block out the sun's harmful ultraviolet waves. Quality does not mean that the sunglasses need to be a designer brand, or even expensive, but make sure you look for sunglasses that say they block out 100% of UV rays.
Wear Bug Spray
With the warmer weather often comes biting bugs like mosquitos! If you are going to be outside for an extended period, be sure to spray with some bug spray to prevent getting bitten. Not only are mosquito bites itchy and uncomfortable, but they also can transfer diseases.
In the Texas heat, it is important to dress appropriately to prevent hyperthermia while still protecting your skin. It is important to avoid layers of clothing, which will trap heat. Ideally, wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing which allows for air circulation and the ability to properly regulate body temperature.
Check Your Medication
Both prescription and over the counter medications can cause adverse side effects when the user is exposed to extreme temperatures. Certain drugs can even reduce a person's ability to sweat leaving them incredibly vulnerable to heat stroke during the summer months. Medications to watch out for include blood thinners, blood pressure reducers, allergy symptom relief and anti-depressants. To be safe, it is best to discuss with your physician your personal vulnerability.