Summertime brings wonderful opportunities and activities to have fun in the sun, from trips to the beach to days spent outside enjoying beautiful weather!
However, with rising temperatures and the sun’s harsh rays, summer also brings many health concerns and risks for older adults. If you’re planning for a season full of outdoor activities, it’s important to brush up on summer safety and plan to avoid any emergencies or health hazards.
At The Woodlands at Canterfield, our luxury senior living community prioritizes active living and engagement. We love to take advantage of the warmer weather to ensure each resident can make the most out of the summertime.
To help you stay safe this summer, our team is sharing summer safety tips to get you ready to enjoy this beautiful season!
1. Hydration is Key
The warmer weather can make anyone thirsty, but as we age, it becomes harder to determine the sense of thirst as our bodies naturally begin to lose the capacity to retain enough fluids to keep us hydrated.
Staying on top of your water intake during the summer can help to prevent conditions like hypothermia, which begins when a person becomes dehydrated. Once dehydration sets in, circulation decreases, which lowers body temperature. It’s also important to note that many medications can intensify dehydration, making this a significant cause for concern during the summer.
Stay on top of your hydration levels by bringing a water bottle with you, especially when participating in outdoor activities. Experts recommend that older adults consume at least 1.7 liters of fluid every 24 hours. This is roughly 57 fluid ounces or seven cups.
If you’re someone who forgets to drink enough water, it can be beneficial to set an alarm on your cell phone or smartwatch as a helpful reminder!
2. Keep Cool
If you’ve ever spent time in a hot environment, whether at the beach or relaxing in a sauna, you might have had an instance where you began to feel dizzy or lightheaded. Perhaps you even felt nauseous or uncoordinated, as though you couldn’t control your bodily movements. These are all signs of heat exhaustion, which occurs when your body can no longer keep its temperature at a cool level, and therefore sends these warning signals to alert you that it’s time to find some shade and cool down the body.
Older adults typically do not adjust well when it comes to temperature changes. This is a natural part of aging but can become dangerous during hot weather. Certain health conditions can make heat exhaustion worse and more common, such as:
- Cardiovascular, lung or kidney disease
- Medications such as diuretics, sedatives and some high-blood-pressure medications
- Drinking alcoholic beverages
Be sure to drink plenty of water if you know you’re about to be in a warm situation that could lead to an episode of heat exhaustion, as hydration can help regulate the body’s temperature.
It’s also important to dress appropriately for the weather by wearing loose-fitting clothing and lighter fabrics, like linen or cotton. Remember to reapply sunscreen throughout the day, especially when outside for prolonged periods of time.
3. Stay Connected
While checking the weather for the heat index and staying hydrated are wonderful ways to stay ahead of the dangers of hot weather, you also want to stay connected to neighbors or family members so they know where you are, what you’re doing and how they can help you in case of an emergency. Better yet, when planning an outdoor activity when the temperature is high, invite close friends or family members to participate with you!
Stay prepared by keeping a list of emergency contacts with you if you plan to be outside in the hot weather. If anything happens, people can easily contact a trusted friend or family member for help.
Summer is one of the most beautiful times of the year in West Dundee, Illinois! The Woodlands at Canterfield’s luxury senior living community wants everyone to make the most out of this season while staying safe and prepared in the process.
Discover luxury senior living in West Dundee by scheduling a tour of our community today!