Summer is known as a season of fun and relaxation. It is a time for gardening, cookouts, and time outdoors. However, while the sun and heat can be potentially dangerous for anyone, summer can especially pose a particular threat for seniors.
According to the National Weather Service, adults ages 50 and up account for 70% of all heat related deaths. As we age, our bodies naturally lose the ability to sweat and regulate temperature, which means seniors are especially prone to issues such as dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Furthermore, health factors such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and poor circulation can exasperate a senior’s risk during the summer months.
Our staff works hard through the summer to ensure our patients stay safe and healthy. Here are five summer health tips for not just what we provide our patients, but for everyone looking to be aware of the health hazards of summer. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! It is important to drink water and to drink it often. Aim to drink at least 6-8 cups a day, more if possible. Once a person feels thirsty, they are most likely already dehydrated so we encourage all our patients to be drinking before that point. Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated beverages, as they contribute to dehydration and remember that while drinks like pop and lemonade taste great, they are never a replacement for water.
Seniors, especially, often find their feeling of thirst decreases as they age. Caregivers should ensure that they always have water with them, especially if they are participating in activities which cause them to sweat. Individuals living with Alzheimer’s or other dementia have an increased ri