Let’s face it: We’re pretty fortunate to be living in Whatcom County. Especially during summer, when there is no shortage of gorgeous weather or things to do. But when you’re out and about, especially as an older adult, it’s important to be prepared.
Here are a handful of our favorite summer safety tips for senior citizens:
- Check in with your doctor. At your next checkup, ask your doctor if there’s anything you should be particularly aware of in high heat. Should you store your medication in the fridge? Do you have any conditions that are aggravated by hot weather?
- Keep a list of phone numbers handy. Do you know whom to call if you’re feeling faint or ill? Are you sure you’ll remember the numbers when you need them? Keep a list by the phone of people you can call for help. And of course, 911 is always a good option if you’re in distress. When in doubt, make the call.
- Drink plenty of water. You’ll hear this advice a lot, and that’s because it’s so important. Dehydration is one of the major causes of heatstroke, a fatal condition in which the body temperature rises above 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The body sweats to keep its temperature down, so be sure to drink enough water to compensate.
- Wear breathable clothing. Speaking of sweating, when you head out, wear the right threads. Cottons and linens are great choices for a day in the sun. Avoid fabrics that don’t easily let air pass through, such as denim, polyester and rayon.
- Take frequent breaks from the sun. Whatever you’re doing, whether it’s gardening, walking, playing golf or any other outdoor activity, it’s important to take rest breaks in the shade or in the cool of air conditioning. Give your body frequent opportunities to recover and cool down.
- Slather on that sunscreen. That cool breeze keeping you cool isn’t doing anything to keep the sun from damaging your skin. A sunscreen of at least 30 SPF that blocks both UVA and UVB rays should do the trick. Apply the sunscreen before you get dressed. It’ll be easier not to miss a spot, and the sunscreen will have enough time to soak in before you head out.
- Grab a hat and sunglasses. While you’re out and about, the more you can do to protect your skin from the sun, the better off you’ll be. A good hat and glasses can do wonders for protecting your face and head.
- Enjoy! There’s nothing quite like summer in Whatcom County. Go out there and make the most of it.
If your loved one needs a bit of help staying safe while getting out and about during the summer, contact Take My Hand At-Home Care. Our caregiver companions help seniors attend family reunions—providing transportation and personal care during the day. They also take seniors on outings, like picnics in the park or live music events.