The Heat Is On!
So, summer has finally arrived! A lot of people don’t like the heat, but I’m not shivering and I’m not shoveling so I’m good! It’s important, however, to make sure that the most vulnerable, our seniors, are protected from overheating and heat stroke. A shocking statistic from the CDC says that 36% of heat-related deaths in the United States were among people over age 65.
So why are seniors more susceptible to the heat? Well, here are a few reasons:
- Older adults are more likely to be dehydrated
- Prescription medicines can alter the body’s ability to regulate body temperature and prevent sweating
- Chronic medical conditions can affect the way the body responds to heat
But what can you do to help seniors (and don’t forget about infants) stay cool this summer? You might find some of these ideas helpful:
- Avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks. Your go-to drink should be cool water and lots of it!
- Layer up! Dress in layers of lightweight and light-colored clothing. By doing this you can remove or add layers throughout the day as the temperature changes.
- Visit a place that’s guaranteed to be cool - the mall, a coffee shop, a public library, or movie theater. These places are usually cold enough to hang meat so be sure to remember #2 above!
- Take a cool bath or shower.
- Keep the house cool by closing curtains or blinds during the hottest part of the day.
- Keep a good supply of cool goodies in the freezer - popsicles, frozen fruit, and Italian ice are especially tasty.
- Avoid hot, heavy meals. Meatloaf and spaghetti and meatballs are made for cooler weather. Try salads, grilled fish, and pasta salad. Your waistline might benefit as well.
- Sit with your feet in a pan of cool water. Add some bottled lemon juice and your feet will thank you!
Depending on where you live and your tolerance for heat, summer can be wonderful or pure torture. Just try to make the best of every day and be thankful for the blessings in your life.