Everyone loves the warm months of summer. It’s a great time to get outdoors, spend time with friends and family, and enjoy some beautiful weather. However, summer can also mean extreme heat, high humidity and high UV indexes, all of which can pose a danger to your health. Dehydration, heat stroke and heat exhaustion can strike at any age. But as you age, your ability to regulate your body temperature naturally declines, making seniors generally more susceptible to these summer time threats.

5 Senior Safety Tips for Summer

The good news is many heat related illness can be prevented. Here are a few health tips for seniors to stay safe and healthy no matter how high the heat index rises.

  1. Know the signs of heat related illnesses. The best way to stay safe during the summer is to know the the signs of potentially life-threatening heat related illness. Dizziness, cramps, fatigue, blurred vision, rapid heart beat, nausea, vomiting and extreme sweating are just some of the signs of common heat related illnesses like heat stroke, heat exhaustion and dehydration. If you see these symptoms in yourself or a loved one after spending time outside, particularly in high heat and in the sun, be sure to take steps to cool the body down and seek medical attention.
  2. Drink plenty of water. Your sense of thirst declines as you age, which is why seniors are more likely to suffer from dehydration than other age groups. Dehydration is dangerous in any season, but seniors who spend a lot of time outdoors in the heat and the sun are particularly more susceptible. Sip water throughout the day, especially while you are outdoors, and strive to drink at least eight eight-ounce glasses of water each day.
  3. Cool it down. While fun, barbecues, picnics, and sporting events can keep you out in the sun for a long time. No matter what the event, it’s important to take breaks from the sun and the heat. Take short breaks in an indoor, air-conditioned space, or spend time in the shade or in front of a fan throughout the day.
  4. Avoid sun exposure during peak hours. It’s important to avoid the sun when it’s at its strongest, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. If you are outside, limit the amount of time you spend in the direct sunlight, try to stay in the shade and be sure to wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
  5. Know your limits. Many seniors like to spend their summers outside exercising, gardening and doing some light landscaping. Make sure you recognize your limits and take breaks if you are engaged in any type of strenuous activity. As you age, you’ll likely find you have to take more breaks than you used to—that’s okay! Be sure to listen to your body and take your time when it comes to outdoor activities and chores.

Healthy Living at Western Home Communities

At Western Home Communities, our communities are designed to give seniors easy, worry-free living that allows them to spend more time enjoying life, no matter what the season. And our many amenities and activities ensure every senior can maintain an active, fulfilled life. Learn more about our variety of senior living options, including our Active Living and Independent Living communities designed to help seniors age happy and healthy. Contact Western Home Communities today for more information.