Six Summer Safety Tips for Erie Seniors
July is UV Safety Awareness Month In Erie
Clouds Fade Away, and Erie Seniors See Sun on the Horizon
Now that the weather is warming up, you will want to be well prepared for the best and worst of what summer can bring. While we tend to think of the winter months with snow and cold as presenting safety concerns for seniors, it’s important to be mindful of summertime safety as well.
The sun, sand, and beach or pool can make for beautiful experiences, but the beautiful sun can contribute to sun burns and the lovely pool can cause unexpected slippery surfaces that may contribute to a fall. The great outdoors can present a great risk for getting lost or getting bitten by ticks, bees, and mosquito’s.
We certainly want seniors to get out and enjoy all that summer has to offer, but a few simple strategies to be well prepared can reduce unwanted, unwelcome, and unsafe situations this summer. Click here to read more.
Six Tips to Keep Erie Seniors Safe During The Summer Months
1. Stay hydrated
It’s important to drink non-caffeinated non-alcoholic beverages throughout the day even if you are not thirsty. Unless you have instructions from your healthcare professional to minimize your intake of fluids, try to drink 6-8 8 oz glasses daily. If that’s simply too much liquid, try popsicles, jello, sherbet, Italian ice, smoothies or even ice chips. If you begin to feel dizzy or lightheaded or confused, you may be dehydrated. It’s important to notify family or your healthcare provider of these symptoms as they may indicate need for urgent treatment of dehydration which can be life threatening in the elderly.
2. Stay cool
On the hottest days of summer, it’s important to keep blinds, shades, or drapes closed to keep the sun out while the windows are open only a crack. Open windows at night after the temps have fallen in order to let a breeze in. Have a small fan blowing to circulate the air with one fan blowing the hot air out of the house and another fan blowing lightly on your body. Take a cool shower. Wear light- and light-colored clothing. If you do not have an air conditioner, make a visit to an air conditioned place – a mall, a grocery store, a theatre, a church or synagogue, a senior center, a YMCA, or a gym to cool off for a bit.
3. Wear proper headgear
Protecting the head from the powerful rays of the sun is important to avoid sun burn of the scalp and to contribute overall to staying cool.
4. Wear proper footwear
Whether you’re enjoying a summertime hike or lounging at the pool, it’s important to wear proper footwear to avoid injury or a fall. “Water shoes” are widely available and “slip proof” versus traditional flip flops which provide very little support and can be very slippery on wet surfaces like at a pool. Proper hiking shoes or tennis shoes with a solid and comfortable base of support and a wide toe box are a worthy investment for the trail hikers to optimize comfort, minimize injury or falling.
5. Use adaptive equipment
This is especially important on uneven surfaces out on the trail or even at the beach. Simple walking poles are widely available and used by people of all ages. They are lightweight, durable, and pack easily. They can make quite a difference with balance and support when out walking.
6. Wear sunscreen
Older adults can get sunburned, too, and especially those who are taking certain medications that increase risk of sunburn (certain antibiotics, antifungals, antidepressants, medications for behavioral health, etc – consult your pharmacist or healthcare professional to check if any of your medications put you at increased risk). SPF 30 or higher is recommended. Limit time in direct sunlight and sit in the shade. Wear sunglasses to prevent eye irritation from excessive sunlight.
BrightStar Care of Erie provides a full continuum of in home care services comprised of companionship, personal care, dementia care, transportation, medication assistance, skilled nursing and more to improve clients’ health and quality of life.
To learn more about our local team of caregivers, skilled healthcare professionals, and home health care support for Erie families and businesses – Click Here