As the days get warmer in the lead up to the summer months, it is an important time of year to remind ourselves of good summer safety tips, particularly for seniors.
Many Australians find the heat and humidity of summer extremely uncomfortable. However, there are several groups of people who are more at-risk of becoming ill from heat stroke, including seniors over the age of 65 years old.
Paying attention to your body and being aware of the initial signs of heat-related illness during summer can help you to stay safe. Some of these symptoms include: faintness, dizziness, headaches, rapid pulse, shallow breathing, vomiting and confusion.
Heat stroke can be very serious, so if you are unwell or concerned you should see your GP and if it is an emergency call 000.
But what can you do to help beat the heat? Here are 4 tips to help you stay safe cool during the summertime:
Notably, the most important summer safety tip for seniors is to stay hydrated. Drinking enough water during summer will not only help cool your body down but also prevent dehydration. It is best to avoid sugary, alcoholic, or hot drinks as these can make you dehydrated.
It is recommended that, at minimum, senior’s drink 8-10 cups of water per day. This should be increased during the summer heat or if you’re still finding yourself feeling thirsty.
Some tips to try and drink more water include:
- Keep a reusable bottle of water in your bag so you always have water with you
- Add a slice of lemon to your water
- Drink a glass of water with every meal
- Eat foods high in water, such as watermelon, zucchini, and cabbage.
Keep yourself cool
It might sound like an obvious thing to do to help avoid the heat in the summer but keeping yourself cool is imperative for seniors. Dress in light, loose fitting clothes and wear a hat if you are outdoors. Stay out of the sun during 11am to 3pm, and where possible, look for shaded areas outside.
Even though many of us were told not to use our fan or air-conditioning to save power, the risk of heatstroke and other related illnesses for seniors is far too great – use these tools to help keep you cool!
At Seasons, all our communities have ceiling fans and/or air-conditioning to ensure our residents can keep comfortable and cool in their apartments.
Preparing yourself and your house for a heat wave or summer, in general, can assist you in staying safe and cool.
In your house, make sure you have what you need to keep yourself cool – fans, cool packs, the right house insulation, etc.
For yourself, make sure you have a plan or know what to do if you were to suffer from a heat-related illness. Plan your days by keeping in mind that the hottest part of the day is between 11am and 3pm. You might try and avoid going outside or doing strenuous activities during those times, or even go somewhere where there is air conditioning, such as the shopping centre or movie cinema, during these times.
Check on your furry friends
If you are feeling the effects of the heat – it is more than likely so is your pet. Make sure that they have enough accessible water to drink each day and if they are outside, that they have an area that is in the shade. There are several other summer safety considerations for pets too, such as watching out for more snakes, toxic plants and avoiding walking on hot concrete. You can read more about these on the RSPCA website.