Summer comes with a unique set of health hazards for seniors. From heat exhaustion to dehydration to bug bites, the effects of enjoying the season can be unpleasant and even dangerous. Seniors should take special care to avoid the pitfalls of summer, so they can remain as comfortable and healthy as possible. Even people who live in senior care communities should be aware of the hazards to avoid. The following are a few of the most common summertime health risks and ways to prevent them.
Heat Exhaustion & Heat Stroke
When temperatures rise, people can underestimate the potential damage of being too hot for too long. This may be especially true for people who are not accustomed to dealing with excessive heat. If you live in an area that experiences a sudden heat wave, you need to take extra precautions to keep your body temperature normal. The signs of heat exhaustion include a faint feeling, feeling generallyill, or sweating profusely. These signs typically mean that your body is being forced to work too hard to keep your core temperature at a normal level. Heat stroke is an even greater cause for alarm, especially for a senior. The symptoms of heat stroke include losing consciousness, rapid breathing, and being confused. If you are a senior and suspect that you are suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke, you should see a medical professional immediately.
You can do several things to prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke. When it is not running, be sure not to sit for longer than a few minutes in your vehicle. If you don’t have air conditioning in your home, visit places that do have it – such as public libraries, shopping malls, and the homes of friends and relatives. Wear clothing that is lightweight and fits loosely. Wearing light colors can help to reflect heat and sunlight off of your body. If you’re on vacation in a place that has a hot climate you’re not used to, try to avoid going outdoors often until you become acclimated to the environment.
Dehydration can be another effect of getting too much heat and sunlight. The signs of dehydration include thirst and a dry mouth. Other signs to look for are fatigue and dizziness, as well as mental confusion. Even if you only feel irritable or listless, you could be suffering from dehydration. To avoid this health risk, be sure to drink plenty of water, and try not to consume caffeinated beverages. Only engage in physical activity during the times of day that are the coolest. Your goal should be to drink plenty of fluids before your body starts telling you that you NEED them.
Bug bites are another common health risk in the summer. Tick bites can cause Lyme disease, and mosquito bites can sometimes lead to West Nile virus. The best way to prevent such bites is to limit your potential exposure to insects. To avoid ticks, stay away from areas that are dense with vegetation. Keep mosquitos out of your home by using screens for open doors and windows. Wearing insect repellent with a DEET content of 20 to 30 percent will help to keep both ticks and mosquitos away from you.
Avoiding the most common summertime health risks is important for your wellbeing. Seniors should always prevent health pitfalls when possible. When you live in a nonprofit senior care facility, the staff will help to ensure your wellness in every season. If you do become ill, staff members can help you to get the senior healthcare services you need.
Rid yourself of summertime health concerns by placing your needs in the caring hands of staff at Concordia Lutheran Ministries. For over 130 years, the non-profit senior care services from Concordia Lutheran Ministries have been regarded as being the highest quality in the region, renowned for their impeccable attention to detail to fit your every healthcare need. Discover how Concordia’s senior care services can help improve your life and schedule a tour of a location near you!
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