5 Ways for Northern Michigan Seniors to Stay Safe in the Sun

Posted at Aug 24, 2013 | 153 Comments

Summertime. Our reward for having survived another cold and snowy Michigan winter. For older adults, however, summer can create just as many risks as a Northern Michigan winter does. One of the worst is Hyperthermia. It happens when you are just too hot. Your body can’t rid itself of enough heat. Untreated, it can lead to heat stroke. Seniors are at greater risk for it.

Summer Safety for Older Adults

The aging experts at The Brook Retirement Communities offer you our 5 best tips for staying safe this summer:

  • Limit sun time. On the hottest days of the summer, try to avoid going outside. Especially during mid-day and afternoon. That is when UV rays, heat and humidity are at their peak. If you and an aging loved one must go outside, try to do so in the early morning and evening hours.
  • Protect Your Skin. Older adults are more likely to have thinner skin. That puts them at an increased risk of both sun burn and sun poisoning. Apply sunscreen liberally as often as indicated on the directions. Don’t forget areas like the end of your nose, tops of your ears, and the back of your neck.
  • Drink up! Make sure you drink your 8 – 10 glasses of water each day during the summer heat. If you are perspiring alot, health experts also recommend drinking a sports drink to replace the electrolytes. Just don’t overdo it. Some sports drinks are high in sugar and that can actually contribute to dehydration.
  • Investigate Medication Side Effects. Some of the drugs that older adults more commonly can increase sun sensitivity. What that means is seniors can suffer from heat exhaustion or heat related illnesses much quicker than normal.
  • Watch Your Diet. Water rich foods, like cucumbers and watermelon, can help to keep you hydrated. You also want to eat high protein foods to keep your blood sugar steady. Chicken, fish, and Greek yogurt are all good options for summer menus.

Finally, remember these three words to help keep yourself or an aging loved one safe: Water.Rest. Shade.

Do you have any good tips for surviving the dog days of a Michigan summer?

We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

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