Hello, summer! As we enjoy the longer, sun-filled days, we need to be aware of the risks that hot weather brings to the older population.
Seniors are more affected by the heat for three reasons:
- As we age, our bodies do not adapt as well to changes in temperature
- Seniors are more likely than the younger population to have a chronic medical condition that impairs the body’s response to heat
- Seniors are more likely than younger people to be taking medications that affect their ability to adapt to higher temperatures
But that doesn’t mean seniors can’t have fun in the sun. These senior-friendly tips will help you stay cool and safe this summer:
- Wear light, loose clothing.
- Avoid cooking, which will heat up your home.
- Eat lighter foods. Heavy, hot foods heat up your body. Take advantage of hot days to enjoy refreshing salads and other cold foods.
- Enjoy cool showers and baths.
- While fans might keep you cool on warm days, as the temperature climbs into the 80s, they will not do the job. On super-hot days, spend as much time as possible in air-conditioned spaces. Even a few hours at a senior center, a library, or a shopping mall will help keep your body cool. If you do not have access to air-conditioning, call your local health department.
Stay Outside — Carefully
- Use sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat when going outdoors.
- Schedule outdoor activities for cooler times in the day, such as early morning and early evening.
- Stay in shaded areas if spending extended time outside.
- Avoid strenuous outdoor activities.
- Allow extra time for rest after being outdoors.
- You will need to drink more than usual to stay hydrated in the summer. Keep a water bottle handy, and have a drink before you’re aware of how thirsty you are.
- Take advantage of summer’s bounty by snacking on seasonal fruits and vegetables that have high water content, such as watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, berries, cucumbers, and tomatoes.
- If you are taking diuretics or have been advised to reduce the amount of water you drink, ask your doctor how much you should be drinking.
- Don’t forget sunscreen whenever you go out!
- Tune in to heat warnings and other weather-related updates.
- Use the buddy system. Team up with a friend, and check up on each other daily — good advice all year round!
- Keep the Center for Disease Control’s Heat-Related Illnesses chart handy, in order to be aware of the different levels of heat-related illnesses, and what to do for them. You can find it here.
- If you show any signs of heat-related illness, such as headache, nausea, or vomiting, seek medical help immediately.
Take advantage of summer’s glory, but take care of yourself at the same time!
Atlantic Coast Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, conveniently located in scenic Lakewood, NJ,
on beautifully landscaped grounds. We have strived to create an environment and program that truly enhances quality of life, thus promoting recuperation, health, and well-being.
Our modern facility features spacious living spaces that are impeccably decorated and furnished. Our residents are pampered with the finest amenities, including free WIFI, flat screen cable television and state-of-the-art mechanical beds for individualized comfort.
Our master chef and the entire staff of culinary experts prepare delicious meals to please even the most discerning palates. Our meals are not only delicious, they are also elegantly served, using fine china and utensils. In addition, we have a registered dietician to supervise the process to ensure that all meals conform to the individual dietary restrictions and requirements for every resident.
At Atlantic Coast, our goal is to offer recreational activities that stimulate both mind and body. We fashion each day’s recreation schedule with the primary purpose of encouraging social interaction and promoting physical health and fitness. To accommodate different interests and personal preferences, our Activities Director designs flexible schedules, with a variety of stimulating and engaging activity options.