Summers for seniors in Tuscaloosa and Huntsville bring back fond memories of summer nights spent with family and friends, barbecues, and holiday fireworks. But, unfortunately, a long, hot Alabama summer also carries with it the dangers of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Older adults are especially vulnerable to these heat-related illnesses. Courtesy of Seniors Prefer Homecare, here are five summer health and safety tips for seniors that will keep you protected as the heat index rises.

Stay hydrated

Even if you’re not thirsty, drink plenty of water. By the time you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Minimize caffeine and alcohol consumption when you’re out in the hot sun, as these contribute to dehydration. Fresh fruits and veggies contain water that will help keep you hydrated.

Use sunscreen

Even on overcast or hazy days, use sunscreen with SPF-15 or higher when you go outdoors. Make sure the sunscreen blocks both kinds of harmful rays (UVA and UVB). Reapply sunscreen if you go in the water. And, check the expiration date on the sunscreen you bought last summer, as ingredients break down over time and may no longer provide the protection you need.

Wear light clothing

Rising temperatures and humidity mean it’s time for a wardrobe change. Wear loose-fitting and light-colored clothes to stay comfortable and keep calm. Avoid synthetic fibers, as cotton and other natural fabrics, will better help keep you more comfortable.

Avoid the midday heat

If you like to get outside and walk or exercise during the summer, be an early bird or wait until dusk. Limit your outdoor activities and get yard work or gardening finished early or late in the day to avoid the sun’s peak hours between 10 am and 4 pm.

Know the symptoms of Heat Stroke

Staying safe during the summer means being aware when your body is signaling a problem caused by too much exposure to the sun. Signs of heat stroke include:

  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Dry skin
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Rapid pulse

If you or someone you know begins experiencing these symptoms, move to the shade or indoors and seek medical attention immediately.

Our Caregivers Keep Seniors Safe