How to Keep Seniors Healthy and Cool this Summer

Most people wait with bated breath for summers so that they can venture outside and enjoy the fine weather without having to wear multiple layers. Summer can be an exciting time for active individuals who like spending time outdoors. Californian summers though, can be extremely taxing physically and mentally, unless you know how to prepare yourself. Sometimes the sun can be merciless and the scorching heat can lead to a number of health concerns if you do not take the necessary precautions.

Elderly individuals are particularly prone to feeling the heat of the summer. It is hugely important that you make yourself aware of simple methods and tips to tackle the summer heat. By following some simple advice, you can enjoy the summer without giving any more thought to the heat.


Drink Liquids and Eat Fruits & Vegetables

When we are young, our bodies have high immunities and tolerances that allow us to endure harsh conditions for longer without feeling any mental or physical stress. As we age, we realize that we have to pay more attention to our bodies and the way they react to the environment. For elderly individuals looking to protect themselves from the heat of the summer, there is no better alternative to hydration. Drinking water and other beverages ensures that your body remains fully hydrated, allowing you to experience greater energy levels, and enabling you to stay outdoors for longer. Even if you are looking to stay indoors, the summer heat can still sap you of your fluids.

Fruits and vegetables are also high in fluid content and help to keep your body hydrated. Following a dietary pattern that includes such kinds of food will translate to a higher tolerance of the summer heat.

Keep a Close Eye on the Weather

Sometimes, despite all your efforts, the heat may just be too overwhelming. Follow the weather report closely and carefully identify which days are going to be more tolerable than others are. As an elderly individual, it is not advised to take any risks or perform strenuous activity in the summer heat. You would be wise in scheduling your outdoor activities for days on which the temperature is lower than average.

Wear Light and Loose Clothing

The clothes you wear are huge determinants of the amount you sweat i.e. the amount of fluid that your body is losing. Wearing heavy, dark or synthetically made clothes is not recommended during a Californian summer. The ideal clothing for a hot summer’s day will be light and made out of a material like cotton. If you are planning on going outside, be sure to wear a hat or another piece of headgear to protect your skin and prevent exposure to harmful U.V light.

Locate a Cool Place Where You Can Spend Time

The most important thing to remember is not to let the summer heat ruin your day. If you think that the temperature is too high for you to take a walk or visit the park, you may be wise in finding an alternative means of entertainment or stimulation. Visiting other public places like air-conditioned malls, libraries or movie theaters may be in your best interests. In large cities, government buildings are often used as Public Cooling Centers…with air conditioning, water and staff trained to monitor the signs of heat exhaustion. With all of these options, you can see that there are a number of indoor activities that you can indulge in until the outdoor temperature is favorable.

Take a Dip in the Pool

Swimming is one of the smartest ways to beat the summer heat. Not only does it keep you cool, but it is also a great form of exercise. Regardless of what age you are, you can still enjoy cooling off in the pool. On days that are overwhelmingly hot, make a trip to the community pool and spend a few hours in the water. If you don’t have access to a pool, taking a refreshing bath, shower or even cooling off with a damp washcloth on your forehead is a great way to keep your cool in the summer heat.

Be Physically Active During the Coolest Part of the Day

Active seniors know that the secret to avoiding pain & stiffness while increasing mobility and overall strength is to stay physically active. Sitting around all day watching the Wheel of Fortune is a quick way to get…OLD. But in the summer heat, physical activity (especially outdoors) can quickly become unpleasant and even dangerous.

So when the mercury soars, stay out of the sun and conserve your energy. Early in the morning or at night after the sun has gone to bed for the night..that is when you should ramp up your activity level…still paying attention to getting enough water and wearing loose, comfortable clothing.

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Tom MacDonald became involved in caring for seniors when he learned firsthand the challenges of caring for a loved one. He has created an environment that allows seniors to enjoy active, quality lifestyles and make their senior living experience comfortable.

One thought on “How to Keep Seniors Healthy and Cool this Summer

  • June 18, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Where I live the summers can be in the 100’s for anywhere between 3 weeks to more than 3 months. Changing your timetable, being outside, is always best. Get out in the morning, stay inside during the late morning and through the afternoons and venture out in the evening. This system works best for those of us who cannot tolerate the heat.


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