7 Outdoor Safety Tips for Seniors

Posted: 6/13/2018 6:14 AM by Interim HealthCare
Spring and summer entice people young and old to head outdoors, especially after a cold winter. Elderly adults are usually eager to get out there and enjoy warm weather, gardening, walks and fun family events. However, warmer temperatures and sunny skies can also be dangerous to elderly people if they don’t take precautions. Family caregivers have a responsibility to make sure their aging loved ones are kept safe and healthy as the thermometer rises.
Here are 5 outdoor safety tips that will help family caregivers stay cool, comfortable and healthy:
1. Learn Why Seniors Struggle in Warmer Temperatures
With age, the body has a harder time regulating its internal temperature. Sluggish circulation, diminished perspiration, thinner skin and chronic health conditions can make it a challenge for the body to cool itself down in warmer temperatures. Family caregivers need to know why their elderly relatives have a higher risk of health issues when it is warmer so they can take steps to keep them safer.
2. Stay Hydrated

There are plenty of reasons why seniors should stay hydrated in the warmer spring and summer months. Family caregivers and elderly care aides should encourage the elderly adult to sip water throughout the day. Dehydration is common among seniors anyhow, and an aging body loses fluids faster than younger adults. Seniors also don’t detect when they are thirsty quite as readily, so they may be in the early stages of dehydration before they even realize it.
3. Wearing Sunscreen
One of the most important things that seniors need to stay safe in the sun is a strong sunblock. A sunburn on aging skin can lead to a lot of health issues, especially heat stress and heat stroke. The skin is much thinner and less supple on elderly adults, and a good quality sunblock can protect them quite well. Family caregivers and elderly care assistants should always apply the sunblock before leaving the house.
4. Sit in the Shade
When outdoors, family caregivers and elderly care assistants should position the aging adult in the shade as much as possible. When there isn’t any shade, an umbrella or wide-brimmed hat can also help. Seniors can become overheated quickly, leading to heat stroke and possible death.
5. Wear Appropriate Clothing

Family caregivers and elderly care assistants must make sure that elderly adults dress in lightweight, loose-fitting clothing to stay cool on warm days. Tight, restrictive clothes won’t help the body regulate its own temperature. Natural fabrics like cotton breathe better than synthetic blends, so if possible, family members should opt for those.
While there’s nothing wrong with getting out there and enjoying the beautiful weather, family caregivers and elderly care assistants need to plan for outdoor activities for aging adults. They should take safety precautions and know the early signs of heat stress so they can take action as needed. With a little planning, seniors can reap all the benefits of warmer weather without fear for their health.

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