Seniors can be more prone to heat and sun conditions than those who are younger. Here are several tips to surviving the heat while still enjoying the dog days of summer:
How does hot weather affect older people?
Hot weather is a danger for the elderly. Hyperthermia is when your body temperature is significantly above normal and can be caused by exposure to too much heat.
Heat-related illnesses are not a joking matter, and when you have health factors that increase the risk of becoming overheated, it is all the more dangerous.
These health issues may include:
There are several ways that can help you to stay safe in the heat:
On an average day, you should drink half your body weight in water. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces of water or nine 8 ounces glasses of liquids. If it is especially hot, you should increase this amount by at least a few cups.
According to Maria Scaros, Executive Director of The Greens at Greenwich, “Staying hydrated is one of the best ways to help your body deal with the heat. If you feel thirsty, you are already on the verge of dehydration.”
Drinks with electrolytes are good but be cautious of taking in too much sugar.
Protect Your Eyes
As we age, our eyes are more susceptible to UV rays. Be sure to wear sunglasses and a hat to shade your eyes.
Wear Proper Clothing
The sun can be dangerous to the elderly. Wearing lightweight, long sleeve clothes can protect you from both too much sun and dangerous sunburns. Thin clothes are sometimes not enough to adequately protect you. Apply 30+ SPF UVA/UVB sunscreen to your skin before getting dressed for the day.
Be sure that your clothing is not too heavy. The last thing you want is to get overheated.
Exercising in the Heat
It can be dangerous to exercise in the heat. Avoid exercising outdoors on hot days. It is best to exercise in a cool, well-ventilated gym than to run or walk outdoors.
If you still want to head outdoors, it is best to do it in the early morning, or later in the evening, when the sun is not at its strongest.
Be sure to hydrate well before exercising and drink water throughout your activities.
Don’t forget to layer on bug spray after you apply sunscreen. Getting bit by a tick infected with Lyme disease can be dangerous for seniors. When your immune system is already off-kilter from other health conditions, Lyme disease can be detrimental to one’s health.
Mosquitos also carry viruses that can be dangerous to seniors. Do yourself a favor and be liberal with the bug spray.