After what feels like months of cold weather and frosty mornings, Spring has made an appearance. Now, we know the weather will likely revert back to a chilly feel before long but staying safe in the warmer weather is important for the elderly in our communities. So here are some tips from us:
Drink! Avoid getting thirsty by keeping nice fresh water on hand – I like to keep bottles of water in the fridge. By the time you are thirsty, your body is already dehydrated. If you are exercising or doing any type of prolonged physical activity drink more. Avoid alcohol and don’t consume too many caffeinated drinks in the heat – they actually increase dehydration.
Eat foods that contain fluids – watermelon and fruits, vegetables, cold soups and ice lollies are all good options. Avoid salty foods if you can. You may not feeling terribly hungry when it is hot but remember it is important to eat small amounts to keep strength up.
Consider your clothing: Aim for loose, lightweight, and light-colored long sleeves to help protect your skin from sun, while also allowing your skin to breathe. Use wide brimmed hats to keep the sun off of your face and neck. Glasses that block UVA and UVB rays can help reduce the cumulative effect of damage linked to cataracts.
Sunscreen is essential to prevent sunburn. Even short periods in the sun can cause burning and skin damage. Look for a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays, and also have a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or more.
You may want to throw open doors and windows to keep your home cool – please do consider your security however. Smaller windows are generally fine to be left open but doors and large windows that are open wide can present security problems. This is why fans and air conditioning units are sometimes a better option.
The sun is strongest between 10 am and 4 pm so limit your outdoor activity to the morning and the evening, when the temperature is lower and the sun is less intense.
Take the time to check on elderly neighbors and relatives – do they need some help in the hot weather?