Summer is a season families look forward to all year. For many, summer break is a good time to take a road trip to visit an older loved one. With the fun and games of summer, however, come increased safety risks. Seniors have higher odds of experiencing one for a variety of reasons.
We assembled these summer health tips to help you identify potential risk factors and take steps to avoid them. From heat stroke prevention to sunburn solutions, these senior safety tips can allow you to relax and enjoy the summer.
7 Summer Health Tips for Seniors
- Be on guard for ticks: Many areas of the country have witnessed an increase in cases of Lyme disease. Some researchers say it is because there are more ticks, while others link it to greater awareness of symptoms. Either way, it’s important to stay on guard. Check your hair, body, and clothing frequently when you are outdoors and once you are back inside. Do the same for your pets.
- Protect your skin: Sunscreen is one of the best ways to protect aging skin from sunburn and sun poisoning. Experts say you should apply a generous layer of sunscreen—with an SPF of at least 30 to 50—every two to four hours you are outdoors or riding in a car. If you are sweating heavily or swimming, reapply more often.
- Shade your eyes: Sunglasses are also important for healthy aging, especially in the summer. Research shows that routinely wearing a quality pair of sunglasses protects the eyes from cataracts, a condition common among older adults. Look for a pair with a label showing they block 100% of UVA and UVB rays.
- Wear a hat: Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer. It is especially prevalent on the face and back of the neck. Wearing a wide brim hat that shields the face and neck in conjunction with sunscreen helps lower your risk.
- Stay hydrated: Heat and humidity can be especially tough on older adults. As we grow older, the body doesn’t adjust to changes in temperature and humidity as quickly as in younger days. This puts seniors at higher risk for dehydration and sun-related illnesses, like heat stroke. Medication side effects and some health conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, can further increase risk. Encourage your family elders to drink water and eat foods with high water content throughout the day. Leafy greens, cucumber, berries, melon, popsicles, pineapple, and tomatoes are a few.
- Wear quality shoes: While many people like wearing sandals in warm weather, it’s important for seniors to invest in quality, well-fitting summer footwear. Older skin is often more fragile and susceptible to sunburn, including the tops of the feet. A good pair of shoes or sandals protects feet from sunburn, as well as slip and fall injuries.
- Spray for bugs: Summertime bugs can be more than just an annoyance. Mosquitoes are linked to serious health concerns, like West Nile virus. Protect yourself and your older loved ones by wearing bug spray, burning citronella candles, and having the yard treated. Also prevent standing water from building up around your home and yard.
This helpful article, Beat the Heat With Cool Summertime Tips, shares more summer health tips for older adults.
The Advice of a Care Advisor Is Free
Summer is also a great time to explore the senior living communities in your area. From independent living villas to assisted living apartments and suites, you’ll likely find a wide variety of options. One of our experienced senior care advisors can help you find the best fit.
Call us at 800-304-8061 to get started! There is never any charge to families who utilize our services.
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