When the temperature rises, it’s easy to want to spend all your time outdoors. But everyone — especially seniors — must pay attention to the heat and its effects. Here are 4 Tips to Help Seniors Stay Safe in the Summer Heat:
1. Sunscreen: 30+ SPF.
You’ll need at least a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher whenever you’re outdoors — even on cloudy days. Why? The sun emits UVA and UVB rays that penetrate clouds and those rays can cause skin cancer (and sunburn).
UVA rays contribute to the Aging of your skin as far as wrinkles and dry skin are concerned and UVB rays are the rays that Burn your skin. Both types of rays are responsible for contributing to skin cancer, so it’s important that your sunscreen blocks both.
2. Hydrate more than 8×8.
You may not even realize it, but you need to make sure you’re drinking more water while you’re dealing with the heat in order to prevent dehydration. That means water — not coffee, soda or other sugary drinks (especially alcohol) that could actually speed up the dehydration process. Remember that sweating means water is leaving your body, so you need to replenish it.
So, how much water should you drink? We’ve heard the eight 8 oz. glasses per day rule — which is good to startwith. If you’re exercising, doing anything strenuous or dealing with hot weather, you’ll need to up your intake. Note: Ideally, you want your urine to be as close to clear as possible; the darker yellow it is, the more water you need (barring any medical conditions or medications that change the color).
3. Use cooling towels and fans.
There are these terrific, inexpensive inventions called cooling towels. These towels are made of a high-tech fabric that holds moisture but stays dry to the touch. You wet the towels under a faucet, wring them out slightly and then place them around your neck (or your head, or your wrists, if you have the headband or wristband variety). These special towels will cool you off, leave you dry and all you have to do to reactivate them is to run them under water again in a couple hours. And they really work!
Portable fans, whether they’re the type you hold in your hand or wear around your neck or clipped to a chair, can help take the edge off the heat. The hotter it is, the harder your body works to cool itself off — so why not help it out every little bit you can!
4. Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
If you’ve ever visited a tropical locale in the Caribbean or Hawaii, you’ve surely noticed that even professionals wear “relaxed” clothing (including short-sleeved shirts) during the day. That’s because it’s just easier to embrace the heat. The same is true for the weather no matter where you live: If it’s hot and you’re going to be outside, be sure to dress in flowy skirts, shorts, short-sleeved shirts and loose tops in breathable fabrics. This allows your skin breathe and the air to flow over the sweat, cooling you off. Make sure your clothes are not dark browns and blacks, because the sun holds onto the heat in those colors more than white and other light colors.
At American House, we love to be able to enjoy outdoor activities, especially during the summer – and we surely keep in mind these 4 Tips to Help Seniors Stay Safe in the Summer Heat! Schedule a tour of a community near you today by calling us at (248) 579-4422 or visit www.americanhouse.com. We’d love to show you all the activities and events we have planned!