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Summer Safety Tips for Seniors

29The summer can be a great time for family trips, fun and relaxation. However, for seniors, the sun and heat can be dangerous if you don’t take some precautions. Here are a few ways you can ensure your loved one stays safe in the sun this summer:

  • Stay hydrated: If you are a caregiver or family member and plan on spending the day with an elderly loved one, make sure you have bottles of water on hand. It is important for everyone to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Make sure you and your loved one can recognize the signs of dehydration and heat stroke: Lightheadedness, throbbing headaches, irritability, fuzziness and thirst are all symptoms to be aware of.
  • Be safe in the sun: It’s a simple tip, but an important one, especially for people with older, more sensitive skin: wear sunscreen. Seniors should also make sure that they don’t leave the house in the summer without a hat and protective gear to prevent any UV radiation that could potentially cause skin cancer. Many eye-related diseases are associated with UV exposure as well, so seniors should always wear sunglasses to prevent any eye damage or discomfort.
  • Keep cool: A day at the beach with your parent may sound lovely, and can be, but be sure to always prepare for extreme heat conditions. If you’re going to the beach, bring an umbrella for shade. Make sure the air conditioning in your car is strong if you’re headed for a long car ride, and consider planning fun, outdoor activities in shaded areas.
  • Limit strenuous activity: Exercising as a family is a great idea, but be sure to keep it light and easy if it is hot outside. A short walk or bike ride followed by plenty of water and rest can be suitable for the whole family. Consider exercising when it is coolest outside – first thing in the morning, or late in the afternoon.

Carol Pardue-Spears

Carol has worked in the healthcare field for more than forty years. As a Certified Nursing Assistant, she worked for El Camino Hospital in the cardiac unit, Los Gatos Community Hospital, The Women’s Cancer Center in Los Gatos and several home health and hospice agencies. Carol founded Family Matters in 2002 to fill a deficit she witnessed in high-quality, in-home services and care.