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Warm summer months can bring in a lot of joy with those lip-smacking ice creams and mangoes! However, for older adults, summers can cause a lot of severe health issues like dehydration, sun damage, heat exhaustion and heatstroke. So, it is essential to take precautionary steps and be well prepared before the months come in!
Take a look at these tips that’ll help anyone, especially senior citizens, be ready for the sun!
Older adults are more vulnerable to the harmful UV rays of the sun, making it extremely essential for them to protect their skin.
If possible, it is recommended to avoid going out in the sun and switch stepping out during the cooler parts of the day like evenings or nights.
Use a sunscreen with at least 40 SPF to keep the sun damage at bay. Moreover, using an anti-chafing cream will help in protecting against redness and soreness.
Furthermore, some medications may also have an adverse effect on how your skin reacts to excessive sun exposure. So, it is better to check with your doctor about the side effects of certain medications.
Dehydration is a prevalent health issue among senior citizens, partly because older adults become less aware of their thirst as they age. As a result, the amount of water consumption in a day goes down. Some might get dehydrated because of excessive sweating, diabetes, and certain medications like diuretics.
The state of dehydration can even lead to headache, tiredness, and a weakened pulse. So, make sure you drink plenty of fluids throughout the day!
Excessive exposure to the sun can cause permanent damage to the eye. Exposure to bright sunlight is also one of the primary reasons for bad headaches. Protect your eyes and your eyesight by wearing some good pair of sunglasses that provide UV protection.
In case you’re wearing prescription glasses, you should get lenses which contain an added layer for UV protection. Also, using an active cooling gel eye mask can go a long way in providing great relief to your eyes after a long and tiring day in the sun.
Heatstroke is another major issue faced by older adults during the hot summer months. The main reason for older adults being more vulnerable to this is the fact that their bodies don’t adjust to the change in temperature quickly. Common symptoms of a heat stroke are high fever, nausea, vomiting, headache, and dizziness.
Putting your feet in cold water can help a lot in cooling the body down. If you are a caretaker, never leave older adults in the car – the temperature in a parked car can go up to 20 to 30 degrees higher than outside during summers.
It is advised to get medical help immediately if you experience or see anyone suffering a heat stroke.
It’s best to wear breathable and lightweight clothes in summers to keep the temperature of your body regulated in the hot sun. For example, you can opt for natural fabrics like cotton and linen instead of heavy clothing.
Moreover, adding on to the first point, wearing long-sleeved clothes, hats, light scarves can help your skin from getting exposed to the harmful UV rays and help protect your skin.
Light-coloured clothes can reflect the bright rays coming from the sun, helping your body stay comparatively warmer. In contrast, wearing dark-coloured clothes like black or brown will absorb those rays, making you feel hotter than usual.
Some other effective ways to protect yourself from heat
Eating smaller meals and eating more fruits and vegetables would mean more energy for the body. This would increase your energy levels and reduce the chances of you getting a heat stroke.
The health of older people can sometimes be unpredictable. Therefore, older adults should try and be in the company of people who would help them if required.
Water the plants and trees daily to keep them hydrated as they can help in keeping the air around you clean.
Carry important stuff like a well-insulated bottle of water to keep the water cold for a long time or a portable fan to keep you fresh and cool. A cooling umbrella will go a long way in protecting your head from getting exposed to the sun.
Important tip: Remember to carry a handkerchief to wipe the sweat off your face and hands in the sun.
Use air coolers, natural bamboo curtains and make good use of fans to ensure air circulation in rooms.
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