Summer is officially here and with it, sweltering heat continues to hit Texas at record highs. That’s why we are doing all we can to keep our residents comfortable and safe at our facilities. People aged 65 or older are more prone to heat-related health concerns and can’t adjust as well to sudden temperature changes.
Whether due to side effects of certain medications or chronic illnesses, the lack of ability to regulate body temperature can be dangerous or even deadly for seniors. Here’s what you can do to help stay cool during hot weather.
Getting plenty of water is key to staying safe in the heat. Do not wait until you’re thirsty to start drinking water, start drinking water in the morning before temperatures rise and continue to hydrate frequently throughout the day. If you go outside be sure to take a full water bottle with you and take plenty of water breaks during activities.
Wear Appropriate Clothing
Seniors tend to sweat much less than younger people. Wearing loose-fitting clothing to allow airflow between the fabric and your skin can do a great job of keeping your overall body temperature lower. If you are spending extended time in the sun be sure to wear a hat with a brim to keep the sun off of your face and neck. Avoid wearing dark colors that absorb sunlight and opt for more bright-colored clothing such as whites and fluorescents.
Spend Time Inside With Air Conditioning
If you think it’s too hot to spend extended periods outside, make a plan to stay indoors as long as possible. Be sure your air conditioning and heat are working properly in your house and feel free to change clothes or even add layers instead of constantly adjusting the thermostat. Turning the air conditioning on and off can lead to long lag times to arrive at a comfortable temperature indoors. If you don’t have air conditioning or want to save on energy, consider taking a break to spend time at a local library or mall during the hottest parts of the day.
Plan Relaxing Activities
Prioritizing rest and relaxation is a great way to keep body temperatures down and beat the heart. If you want to remain active, be sure to plan activities that require little physical activity and keep you cool like swimming, yoga, playing cards, visiting a museum, or watching a movie in a theater. If you don’t have access to a pool, taking a cold shower is a great alternative to cool off quickly. Avoid spending extended periods outside in the garden or doing lawn work and try to prepare meals that don’t require the oven or stove for cooking.
As temperatures continue to rise this summer it’s important to keep yourself safe and avoid dangerous heat-related illnesses like heat syncope, heat cramps, heat edema, heat exhaustion, or even heat stroke. Be sure to stay hydrated, remain indoors when possible, and take extra precautions by asking friends and family to check up on you, and vice versa.