Though the sunshine and warmth of summer days is often associated with nice walks in the summer breeze and sitting on a rocking chair with a nice cold lemonade, it is not all fun and games when it comes to dealing with the heat of summer.
The fact of the matter is that old age makes it harder to deal with those blisteringly hot and humid summer days. This is doubly true for older adults with preexisting conditions such as lung diseases or diabetes, which can make the summer sun too hot to handle.
Very hot weather tends to start around 80 degrees Fahrenheit for most people, though some people can struggle in temperatures below 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It is all a matter of personal preference, and knowing one’s own body and its limits is an important aspect of staying safe on those very hot days.
Whether you start to struggle in mild heat or feel steady even in record highs, you can benefit from the hot-weather tips that we have below.
Avoid the Midday Heat
Temperatures tend to hit their peak in the midday of summer, so it would be best to get your daily walk in earlier in the day, or do your gardening after dinner, when the sun begins to set and things get a little cooler.
Heat strokes are a big risk for older adults spending a lot of time outside during a particularly hot day, but there are a number of other heat-related illnesses that could spring up from staying too long out in the heat-peak that occurs midday.
Another benefit of the morning and evening excursions in the summer is that there is less light out, which may limit your exposure to Vitamin D (which can be compensated for through your diet), but help prevent harmful issues resulting from too much UV exposure, such as eye or skin damage.
Limit Direct Exposure
Here is where a baseball cap and sunglasses are your friend. As mentioned above, too much exposure to sunlight can be a bad thing, especially on those relentlessly hot days where the sun is beaming its rays down on you through a cloudless sky.
One of the biggest risks of overexposure is skin cancer, which is found in high amounts among older adults.
Using sunscreen, and upgrading your baseball cap to perhaps a wide-brimmed hat that shades more of your body, can be instrumental in preventing some of the more dangerous health effects of sun exposure.
Summer days tend to be too hot for long-sleeve clothing, but if you can handle wearing a long-sleeve shirt or pants, then you will help limit overexposure.
Otherwise, we recommend staying in the shade as much as possible.
Even if you have made the necessary adjustments to your life to limit the sun’s effects, being out in the summer heat can still have a negative impact if you do not hydrate well enough.
No matter how much sunscreen you wear of how wide-brimmed your hat is, if you are not drinking enough water (and “enough” can be roughly defined as “more than you would assume you need”), then you still are at risk for the negative health effects that result from dehydration.
Issues that stem from hydration issues include a decrease in memory abilities, kidney problems, and even constipation, along with a host of issues related to weakness and dizziness.
Stay Safe in the Summer with Elder Care 4 Families
The experienced and highly-rated caregivers at Elder Care 4 Families are dedicated to helping take care of your loved ones as they grow older, and this includes adhering to the safety tips that we have outlined above.
To get in contact with us about our services, reach out to us here!