US Med Voice

US Med


Vol. 2, No. 8 | August 2010




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Summer Health
Tips for seniors

US MED Gives Back Summer can be a physically taxing time for everyone. The weather gets hot, places get crowded and busy, and we tend to race from one place to the next. Everyone needs to relax and enjoy summer, especially seniors. As we age, we become more sensitive to changes in temperature, especially heat. This article will look at some summerhealth tips for seniors that should be taken into consideration as the weather warms up.

The first thing that seniors should do for the summer is to examine their homes. Look at ways to save energy and stay cool. Many seniors cannot afford air-conditioning, which can be vital for good summer health. Look at ways to conserve cool air, like covering windows with heavier curtains, or ensuring that windows can safely remain open to allow breezes to flow. Create a shaded place outdoors in the yard that is free of clutter and has a comfortable chair for reading or relaxing.

If you are planning a trip, meet with your doctor to discuss the vacation. This will allow the doctor to give any needed medical advice and refill any prescriptions that might expire while you are away. If you have any complicated medical conditions, you might have your doctor write out an outline of your medical history and course of treatment, along with a list of medications and dosage instructions. This will be very helpful and save a lot of time if you need to seek emergency treatment away from home.

Another summer health tip for seniors to keep in mind is their schedule. While you are out and about, make sure to keep comfortable. Don't rush around. Instead take your time getting from one place to another, and rest often. Take breaks to drink water or enjoy some fresh fruit. Avoid caffeine and hot foods that could contribute to overheating. Plan your activities so they take place in the cooler times of the day, such as in the morning or early evening. Plan trips to places that are indoors and air conditioned. If you don't have air conditioning at home, considering spending the hottest part of the day at the local library, or a community center where there is indoor air.

Soaring summer temperatures can make everyone more susceptible to heat stroke and exhaustion. Symptoms can include confusion, short rapid breathing, a fast pulse, excessive sweating or lack of sweat. Avoid extreme heat and direct sunlight. Seek comfortable places to relax, such us under an umbrella, on a patio, or anywhere air-conditioned. Drink plenty of water, and wear light loose-weight clothing in light colors. Pack sunscreen, glasses, and hats.

Remember these summer health tips for seniors to keep everyone in your family healthy. Check in on elderly relatives who may be home-bound to make sure that they are faring well during the summer. Most of all stay healthy and enjoy your summer.

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