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Senior Summer Safety

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Sweltering summer heat can be brutal for an individual of any age, but it may be particularly dangerous for seniors. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), seniors are more susceptible to the heat for several reasons: Sun.png
  • Seniors do not adjust to sudden changes in temperature as well as young people.
  • Seniors are more likely to have a chronic medical condition that upsets normal body responses to heat.
  • Seniors are more likely to take prescription medicines that impair the body's ability to regulate its temperature or that inhibit perspiration.
While seniors should take extra precaution in the summertime heat, they don’t have to sacrifice the things they love to do. They may still be able to enjoy their favorite outdoor activities, so long as they follow simple tips for staying cool and safe:
  • Seniors should drink plenty of fluids, even if they don’t feel thirsty. Eight ounces of water or an electrolyte drink for every hour spent outside is recommended. Once inside, try keeping a glass of water in every room for quick, easy access to fluids.
  • Go through the closet and remove all heavy materials, long sleeves and dark colors. These should be stored until fall.
  • Stay out of the sun and in the shade during the hottest times of the day.
  • Save household chores — particularly washing and drying clothes as well as operating the dishwasher — for evenings when the temps turn cooler.
  • Take a nap during high heat times — between 3 and 5 p.m., for instance — or find a good television program or movie to watch. During naptime, keep the house closed, cool and energy efficient by pulling the shades or drawing the blinds.
  • Use a central air conditioning system to cool the house, but if high utility bills are a concern, then consider using a fan or small window unit to cool the house at a lower cost. In fact, window fans provide an effective way to exhaust the day’s hot air during the night.
  • Put away that meat loaf recipe for the summer; in fact, high-protein foods increase metabolic heat production and water loss. Instead, consume foods high in water content: watermelon, cucumbers, zucchini, strawberries, lettuce, spinach, celery, tomato, peaches, broccoli, peppers and radishes.
Yellow Squash & Watermelon Salad
• 3 cups cubed seedless watermelon
• 1 medium yellow summer squash, chopped
• 1 medium zucchini, chopped
• ¼ cup lemon juice
• 6 fresh mint leaves, torn
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 4 cups fresh arugula or baby spinach
• ½ cup (4 oz.) crumbled feta cheese
In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Just before serving, add arugula and cheese; toss gently to combine. Makes six servings (3/4 cup each).
Be sure to keep a watchful eye on your senior loved one when outdoors this summer. Heat exhaustion can set in quickly. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea

Furthermore, someone who is struck by heat stroke will stop sweating and won’t feel warm anymore. If these symptoms become noticeable, get to a cool place immediately. Then, apply cool washcloths to the senior's forehead, neck, armpits and groin area. In addition, one quart of water or an electrolyte drink should be consumed. If the symptoms worsen, a physician or 911 should be contacted.

This information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content herein is for general informational purposes only. You are encouraged to confirm any information obtained from or through this newsletter with other sources, including your own physician, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician.


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