7 hot weather tips for seniors to beat the heat

The summer months are just around the corner, and as we get older, it’s important to be more aware of the potential health risks that are uniquely associated with both our age and the changing seasons. Staying cool in the summer is important to your general health. It's worth a little extra planning and a few hot weather tips for seniors to find ways to stay cool and healthy this summer.

Summer Heat and the Elderly

Seniors have particular health risks that need to be understood and monitored, and the summer heat can often cause complications. Summer heat and the elderly don’t always go hand-in-hand, and health risks like heat stroke and dehydration are greater in people over the age of 65, so make sure you talk to your primary care provider about how to stay safe in the heat.

Summer Tips for Seniors

As the warmer months approach, make sure you beat the heat with these 7 summer tips for seniors:

 

Dress appropriately

Wear loose-fitting clothes in cool, natural fabrics like cotton. Dress in light colors, which reflect the sun and heat, instead of darker colors that will attract the heat and make you feel too warm. When outdoors, protect your skin from the sun's damaging rays by wearing a hat and sunglasses as well.

 

Stay away from direct sunlight

When you can, stay away from the direct sunlight when spending time outdoors. In some places, you may even feel as much as a 10-15 degree temperature difference between the sun and the shade. Instead of catching a few rays, find a shady spot to avoid damaging your skin.

 

Stay near air conditioned areas

Having access to air conditioning can also help you avoid health risks associated with the summer months. If you’re going to an outdoor celebration or event, make sure there’s a place nearby that has air conditioning that you can access if you start to feel lightheaded or too warm.

 

Stay hydrated

Hydration, hydration, hydration! Keep plenty of water with you during the hotter months. The last thing you’ll want is to be caught in the summer heat without it. Drinking enough water can help prevent dehydration and keep your body functioning as well as possible, even under the stress of the sun.

 

Wear sunscreen

As you get older, it’s important to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Make sure you apply sunscreen that's rated SPF 30 or higher before spending time outside — and don’t forget to reapply!

 

Cool down after sun exposure

If you’re feeling warm, wet a washcloth in some cool water and rest it on your neck or wrists, where your blood can carry the cooler temperatures to the rest of your body. Once you’re back home from a day in the sun, it can also help to take a cool show or bath — just avoid shocking your system with water that’s too cold.

 

Stay indoors during extreme heat

Try to plan your summer activities so you're out and about early in the morning or later in the day when it's cooler, and indoors during the heat of the day from mid-morning until late afternoon. If you do not have air conditioning in your home, go somewhere that does—a movie theater, the mall, a friend or relative’s home or a community senior center are all good options.

Other Tips to Beat the Heat

If you need other tips to beat the heat this summer, talk to your doctor or a caregiver about the best ways to stay safe, or get in touch with the CenterWell team to see if it’s right for you. You may be able to find activities and events in your area, while also staying safe from the heat.

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Formerly known as Partners in Primary Care and Family Physicians Group, our new name CenterWell reflects our passion for improving the lives of seniors.  Our team is here and ready to help answer any questions you may have.