Seniors, Beware of Summer’s Heat

Seniors Advised to Use Caution When In the Summer Heat

We dreaded the long, cold winter here in central New Jersey, and are now happy to welcome the warm pleasure of summer into our lives! Summer officially begins on June 21st, but summer’s heat has already made a few appearances. When the heat strikes, it’s important for seniors to listen to their bodies and take precautions when being outside for any length of time. Hyperthermia may come from being in the heat longer than the body can take.

Symptoms of hyperthermia

  • Ankles and feet may swell
  • Legs, arms, and or stomach may cramp
  • Extreme sweating and nausea may occur
  • Dizziness may occur

The body normally regulates itself as we sweat. When the sweat evaporates, it cools the surface of the skin. However, this natural method may not work as well due to medications, heart/respiratory conditions, being in poor physical shape, drinking too much, or due to age.

Ways to avoid heat stroke or hyperthermia

  • Stay inside during the warmest times of the day, between 11am and 3pm
  • When indoors, turn on the air conditioning. For homes without A/C, open windows and turn on fans, closing curtains from windows with direct sunlight
  • Wear sunscreen with a minimum 15 SPF
  • Don’t exercise or do outside work in the heat of the day (unless inside a mall or other air conditioned building)
  • Ask neighbors to watch for your older parent or loved one
  • Keep hydrated by drinking water and juice, even if you’re not thirsty
  • Cover skin with lightweight clothing to prevent burn when outside

Have a cool summer!