Making Your Summer Healthy and Safe

By Sprenger Home Health Care

The summer months are a great time for outdoor activity but with it comes an increase in the incidence of heat related illnesses, especially for seniors.  

Did you know that as early as age 65 our bodies are changing in how we respond to heat? As we get in that round of golf, mow the lawn, work in the garden or take a good walk we need to heed and take extra precautions to avoid heat illnesses.

As we age, we don’t tolerate, and just as importantly don’t perceive heat as we did. Because of that we may be reaching for that sweater when everyone else is comfortable in a short sleeve shirt. Take cues from those around you and think twice before adding that extra layer.

One of the most important things we can do to stay healthy is to make sure we’re well hydrated. Our ability to perceive thirst has diminished making this even more challenging. Dehydration can lead not only to heat related illnesses but to falls as well. When we’re dehydrated the chances of dizzy spells and fainting increase.

Don’t forget about sunscreen. Our skin has become thinner so sunscreen is even more important when planning outdoor activity.

Diet and nutrition play an important role as well. Eat light! Consuming foods that are easy to digest as well as smaller more frequent meals will serve you well. Be careful about food storage. Foods spoil more quickly in the heat of the summer. The Nutrition.gov website is packed with good information for senior nutrition.

Plan your outdoor activities when the air is cooler. Mow the grass and work the garden in the evening. Plan your tee time and take that brisk walk early in the morning and don’t forget your water and sunscreen!

Have a healthy and safe summer!