If you recall, last summer ended up being a scorcher! And we have already seen the humidity and temperatures soar once again. During the hot summer months, Mystic Valley Elder Services recommends that it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on the older adults in our lives. With more people being house bound this summer due to COVID-19, it is even more imperative we check in on them.
Older adults are much more likely to develop heat-related illnesses than younger people because as we age our bodies don’t adjust as well to drastic changes of temperature. Also, some medications that older adults are taking can affect the way their bodies regulate heat. Read more about some tips and resources to help you beat the heat.
- Slow down, and avoid strenuous activity. Don’t try to do too much on a hot day.
- Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect heat and sunlight and help maintain normal body temperature. Protect your face with a wide-brimmed hat.
- Drink plenty of water regularly and often, even if you do not feel thirsty. Stay hydrated.
- Limit your intake of alcoholic beverages, as they can actually dehydrate your body.
- Eat well-balanced, light, regular meals. Avoid high protein foods that increase metabolic heat.
- Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings or louvers. Outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80%.
- Air-conditioning can provide a lot of relief in the summer. On the most unbearably hot days when it’s too hot for fans to be effective, air-conditioners can even help you stay safe. If you don’t have air conditioning, stay on your lowest floor, out of the sun. Electric fans do not cool the air, but they do help evaporate perspiration, which cools your body.
- The heat affects more than just people. Our pets can be in danger when the temperatures reach highs. Keep your animals safe and healthy in this heat. Do not leave them in a hot car or without water.
In extreme heat and during the pandemic, it’s important that we watch out for each other and stay informed about how to remain healthy and safe when the thermometer climbs. Stay cool!