Stay Cool: Tips for Seniors to Beat the Summer Heat

With summer fast approaching, it is a good idea to be prepared with some basic tips to stay happy and healthy even on the hottest days of the year. Seniors especially should be aware of their increased risk for health problems to arise as a result of summer weather, and should take special care.

*Staying hydrated is essential. When the temperature soars the body keeps cool naturally through perspiring, which results in a loss of water. Be sure to keep drinking all day long, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Recommended amounts for everyone, not just seniors, are at least 8-10 8 ounce cups per day. Water is best, but fruit juice will also keep you hydrated.

*On the other hand, caffeinated drinks and alcohol have the opposite effect on hydration: they actually cause dehydration, and should be avoided, especially in hot weather.

*Take care how you dress. Try to wear lose-fitting clothes made of breathable fabrics like cotton. Light colors reflect the sun’s rays, whereas dark colors absorb the heat of the sun.

*Be sure to protect your skin with sun-block. Use any and all means to keep the sun from directly hitting your skin. You can wear a hat, sunglasses, and especially important is sunscreen of at least an SPF of 30.

*When the day is really hot, keep indoors. If you live in a place with high humidity, the heat can be especially dangerous, as it is harder for your body to cool down naturally through perspiring.