Summer is the time to enjoy the outdoors and have fun. Everyone has memories of beach trips, or camping, fun at the pool, grilling and parties, and many other summertime activities.
It’s also the time when you can spend too much time outdoors in the heat and sun. The effects of sunburns and dehydration can be lasting and dangerous.
Here are seven ways for seniors and the elderly to enjoy summer safely.
1) Apply sunscreen — Before you go outside or out into the sun, apply sunscreen. It’s best to put it on an hour before you’re in the sun. You also should reapply about two hours later and keep reapplying on that timeline if you stay outside. Your best bet is to use a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB radiation.
2) Know your prescriptions and medications — Read up on your medications and the warnings. Consult your doctor if you have concerns or questions. Some of the prescriptions and medications may cause you to be more sensitive to the sun and its harmful effects.
3) Protect your eyes — As you age and enter your senior years, your eyes can have sensitivity to light. Sunglasses reduces the sun’s harmful glare and lowers the risks of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration for older people. Try sunglasses that wrap around your eyes to protect from UVA and UVB radiation.
4) Lightweight clothing — Cotton fabrics that are light-colored and breathable are best in summer. Long-sleeve shirts and hats with wide brims are also best. Wearing layers that you can remove during the day is a good practice.
5) Drink cold water — Don’t drink when you’re thirsty, but drink cool water throughout the day. Avoid alcohol and caffeine in drinks like coffee and soda pop because they act as diuretics.
6) Stay inside — The hottest part of the day is middle of the afternoon. Enjoy outdoor activities in the mornings or evenings, but avoid the hot part of the day, especially if you’re exercising.
7) Eat to be cool — You can snack on cooling items such as homemade popsicles that are low on sugar, or frozen peas, or chilled grapes. Also, eat lighter meals like chicken or pasta salad instead of heavy, hot dishes.
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