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When venturing outdoors, help your loved ones stay safe by planning ahead. Keep the following in mind while enjoying summer’s spectacular sunshine.
Boost your hydration. Drink plenty of water before heading outdoors and throughout any time spent out in the heat. Electrolyte-restoring drinks may be a good option as well.
Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing. Be sure to use sunscreen (at least 30 SPF and broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays) and do your best to stay out of direct sunlight. Wear loose, light-colored clothing that will help you feel cooler and more comfortable, as well as provide additional protection from the sun. Don’t forget the sunglasses and hat!
Know when to stay inside. On very hot days, heed the weatherman’s warnings and limit your outdoor time. Remember, the sun is strongest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Keep medications up to date and properly stored. Managing prescriptions may require extra care during the summer, especially if you or your loved one is planning a vacation. Make sure you have enough, and that it is stored properly as many medications degrade at temperatures over 86°F, making them less effective.
Prevent trips and falls. Uneven patio pavers and concrete, outdoor rugs, slippery pool decks, and sand on the beaches are hazards that can cause seniors to lose their balance and fall.
Follow COVID-19 protocols. After being indoors for much of 2020, many seniors are now vaccinated and excited to see family and friends. While the pandemic is not over, experts acknowledge that traveling can bring a much-needed mental health boost to seniors. Use common sense; avoid gatherings if any guests are ill, been exposed to, or have tested positive for COVID-19.
Take frequent travel breaks. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a dangerous condition in which blood clots form in a large vein, often in the legs. Reduce your risk by making frequent stops to stand up and stretch your legs.
Watch out for hyperthermia and heat stroke symptoms. Excessive sweating, dizziness, fatigue, intense thirst, cool or clammy skin, nausea or vomiting, confusion, throbbing headache – if you or your loved one start to feel any of these symptoms, ask for medical help immediately. Lie down in a cool area as soon as possible.
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