Summer is a wonderful time to enjoy outdoor activities with loved ones! Whether it’s a baseball game, a barbecue or a trip to the beach, warm summer weather provides plenty of opportunities to relax and connect with family and friends.
Summer weather also hides additional dangers for older adults, who are more susceptible to heat-related illness. Seniors are less likely to feel thirst, and often take medications that could cause heightened sensitivity to the sun, making them more vulnerable to sunburn, dehydration and heatstroke. With a few simple precautions, you can reduce these risks, so be sure to follow these 7 important tips for senior sun safety:
- Drink plenty of fluids. Seniors are less likely to feel thirsty, which means dehydration can come on without warning and quickly become dangerous. Try to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day, and increase your water intake if you plan on doing any physical activity or if the weather is extra hot.
- Wear the right clothing. The best clothing for sun protection should be lightweight, breathable, and provide full coverage. Choose long-sleeved, breathable fabrics such as cotton, and wear wide-brimmed hats for additional sun protection.
- Apply sunscreen early and often. Sunscreen needs time to work, so don’t wait until you’re out in the sun to use it. Try to apply sunscreen 30 to 60 minutes before you head outside, and be sure to reapply it every two hours. Choose a sunscreen over 30spf that protects against both UVA and UVB radiation.
- Stay indoors during the hottest hours. The sun is most intense during the middle part of the day. If you like to golf or garden, try to arrange these activities for the early morning or evening, when the weather is cooler. Try to stay indoors when the sun is at its peak.
- Protect your eyes. Seniors have very sensitive eyes. Wearing full-coverage sunglasses that protect against both UVA and UVB radiation can help reduce eye problems from cumulative damage, such as age-related macular degeneration or cataracts.
- Check your medications. Some medications can cause increased sensitivity to the sun. Take the time to look through your medications for sun-related warnings, and talk to your doctor about any concerns or questions you have.
- Know the signs the heat stroke. Adults over 65 are more susceptible to heat-related illness. Knowing the signs of heat stroke can save the life of you or a loved one. If you’re spending time in the sun and notice a flushed face, high body temperature, headache, nausea, rapid pulse, dizziness, or lack of sweating despite the heat, take immediate action! Move quickly by drinking water, applying an ice pack to the back of the neck and moving out of the sun.
For more health information and useful tips, visit our Resources Blog on Total Home Care Supplies. To shop for incontinence, ostomy, urological or wound supplies, visit our TotalHomeCareSupplies.com web store.
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