The summer is upon us and so are those terribly hot temperatures.
It’s indeed the time to make great memories with your family and take advantage of the outdoors.
However, one of the most disturbing things about summer is the number of elders who die from the heat during this time.
In today’s post, I will share a series of tips with you to help you and/or your elderly loved one stay cool this summer so we can avoid bad news.
Let’s get into it.
Staying cool this summer-A guide for elders
Drink a lot of water
While this might seem obvious, people do forget to drink water even in the summer. Yet it is the number one way to stay hydrated during the hot months. To make it easy, here are a few tips on how to get more water in your system.
- Get a dedicated drinking bottle. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. It could even be a regular gallon you get after you empty one of those iced teas you get at the gas station. Fill it with water at the beginning of the day and make it your goal to finish the whole gallon before the day is over. Yes, this means you might have to visit the bathroom a lot; however, it will keep dehydration and its’ effects far away.
- Add flavor to your water. Some people hate the taste of water. It’s understandable if you do. To make your water palatable for you, you could infuse it with fruits. I especially loved infusing my water with lemon and whenever I do, I end up drinking more water than I normally do because of how refreshing water tastes with lemon.
- Drink your sugary drinks-but don’t forget to drink water too. People sometimes convince themselves that as long as they are drinking something, it’s all good and they don’t need water. Drinking something is better than drinking nothing at all. However, not all drinks will hydrate you. So go ahead and enjoy your sweet tea and various juices. But don’t forget to drink water as well.
Stay out of the sun
After those long cold months, nothing is as heavenly as getting your fair share of the sunshine.
The old adage “too much of a good thing can be bad” holds true here as well.
Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can cause severe skin damage and causes cancer.
So as much as possible, stay out of the sun.
If you have to or want to be in the sun, it is always best to put on your sunscreen and reapply it every 3-4 hours to make sure your skin is protected.
Wearing hats and using umbrellas is helpful as you will be able to enjoy the sun without being affected by the UV rays directly.
Apart from skin damage, over-exposure to the sun can cause heat exhaustion which can lead to death if it’s untreated.
Therefore, if you are going to be in the sun for a long time, you will have to take the extra caution of having ice packs and hydrating drinks to make sure your body doesn’t succumb to the heat.
Tis’ the season for cool showers
A cool shower in the morning and one at night does wonders for your body.
If more than one shower will be too harsh on your water bill, a local swimming pool where you can take a dip is helpful.
Staying cool this summer: Use your fans and air-conditioners
You bought them to use them, correct?
So allow them to do their job during the summer.
Staying cool this summer and knowing about heat exhaustion
Even when people take precautions, the elderly can still suffer heat exhaustion or dehydration.
It’s helpful to know the signs of heat exhaustion in these instances.
Check out the following posts to learn more about heat exhaustion and other heat-related health issues.
If you’re struggling to pay the bills…
At times, people cite the fact that they cannot afford their electric or water bills as the reason why they may not be using their shower, fans or air conditioners to stay cool during the summer.
If this is your situation, you will need to find out from your utility suppliers if there are any discounts or special programs for elders.
In every city I’ve lived in, the utility companies have always offered some kind of program for the elderly to help them afford their bills, especially in peak seasons like winter or summer.
Did you find this post helpful?
Share it with someone else looking to stay cool this summer.