If ever there was a summertime to look forward to, it would be the summer of 2020. At least, that’s what many Canadians are feeling right now. The coronavirus pandemic has all but ruined the forthcoming summer as it has caused the cancelling of so many different beloved summer events. However, the past few months have had most of us cooped up inside. So getting outside to enjoy some sunshine is definitely on the menu.
This is true for seniors too. But, it’s absolutely necessary that they do so safely. Here are four summertime safety tips for senior citizens:
1. Avoid going out during the hottest times of the day.
Skin care experts always recommend that we stay out of the sun during the middle of the day. Generally, that refers to the hours between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. During those hours, the sun’s harmful UV rays are at their strongest. As Comfort Keepers highly recommends, keep your elderly loved one out of direct sunlight. On their website, they go on to offer some helpful advice from the American Cancer Society.
Apparently, they use a catch phrase that can help seniors to remember the steps to protect themselves from sun damage. “’Slip! Slop! Slap! And Wrap!’” Comfort Keepers relays, “Meaning, ‘Slip on a shirt. Slop on Sunscreen. Slap on a hat. And Wrap on sunglasses to protect the eyes and sensitive skin around them.’”
2. Bring water along on your walks.
A relaxed and leisurely summertime walk is a favourite pastime of many a Canadian. There is certainly no age limit for taking walks. Your elderly loved one should be able to enjoy the warm weather each day by taking a stroll. However, it’s wise not to do so without staying hydrated. As Kristen Hicks reminds us on SeniorAdvisor.com, the standard suggestion is to drink six to eight cups of water a day.
“If you intend to spend much time out in the sun, you may want to aim even higher to avoid dehydration,” she points out, “Invest in a water bottle or two that it’s easy to take along on your jaunts outside and challenge yourself to finish it before you get home. Don’t just depend on your body to tell you when you’re thirsty. One of the many small frustrations of aging is that seniors become less aware of their thirst.”
3. Take as many breaks as necessary.
Enjoying a nice summer day is made easier when you take it easy. In other words, find moments to locate some shade. Sit on the nearest park bench for a while before continuing your leisurely walk. Limiting strenuous activity is a key way for seniors to enjoy the summer safely. Comfort Keepers also highlights the need to keep things cool when going back indoors.
“When spending time out in the hot sun, it’s beneficial to take numerous breaks to recover,” their website notes, “Having a cool area in his or her home in which to recover can also be beneficial. Make sure the home’s cooling device – whether it’s an electric fan, a portable air conditioner or central AC – is working properly to ensure faster recovery.”
4. Prevent injuries on the front steps.
Does your elderly loved one use a wheelchair, a scooter or any other mobility solution? If so, getting back into your house can be made much easier by installing an external stair lift in front of it. Call Advantage Home Health Solutions at 403-460-5438 to learn more about how an external stair lift can help the senior in your life to have a safer summer. You may also email us by filling out the form on our Contact page!