- Andrea Garcia
Keep Your Loved Ones Healthy This Season
An active lifestyle keeps you healthy. It can reduce the risk of health problems like stroke, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. But staying active during the hot AZ summers can be a challenge, especially for your elderly loved ones. Here are some tips to keep you and your family members safe and healthy this summer.
Stay Safe in the Summer Heat
Older adults are at greater risk of heat-related problems, so make sure your loved ones stay cool and hydrated all summer long.
When they’re outdoors, they should stick to the shade to keep cooler and prevent sunburn. Wearing loose, light-colored clothes and sunscreen will protect their skin. And don’t forget to have them accessorize with a broad-brimmed hat!
Unlike in other cities, it's better to be indoors in summer to let the AC keep you cool. This season is the perfect time to visit the library, museums, malls, and movie theaters.
It's also vital to drink plenty of water and other drinks without caffeine or alcohol to prevent dehydration. Wherever your loved ones go, they can bring along a bottle that's easy to refill.
If they start feeling too warm, have them apply a cool, wet washcloth to their wrists, ankles, underarms, and neck to help cool down quickly.
How To Treat Problems Caused by Too Much Heat
Getting too hot can be more than uncomfortable—it can be dangerous, especially when coupled with health conditions or certain medications. Watch out for dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. Headache or dizziness is a sign that something is wrong. If your loved one feels unwell at all in the heat, have them drink some water and move to a cool place.
Dehydration can also be marked by an unquenchable thirst, dry mouth, dark urine, and confusion. If any of these symptoms occur, they should drink lots of water and an electrolyte beverage, like Gatorade, if possible.
Heat exhaustion is caused by too much heat coupled with dehydration. The body temperature usually goes above 98.6 degrees, and a person may feel weak, tired, or nauseated. If left untreated, it can lead to heatstroke. Help them cool down and hydrated if they have any of these symptoms.
If body temperature rises above 104 degrees, that’s a sign of heatstroke. It's a very dangerous condition that can even happen gradually over a few days. If you suspect heatstroke, call 9-1-1 immediately.
In any of these cases, if your loved one doesn’t feel better after drinking water and cooling down, or if they have a medical condition, call for help.
Stay Active While Staying Cool
Despite the sometimes oppressive summer heat, your elderly loved ones can stay active and healthy while keeping cool.
Walking gives you a chance to spend some time together while getting some exercise, but it's important to avoid that midday heat. So invite your loved one to go on an early morning or evening walk, when temperatures are cooler. No matter what time you choose to go for that walk, bring a water bottle.
Exercising indoors is a great way to stay fit and cool during the hot AZ summer. Low impact workouts are the perfect choice for someone with limited mobility or joint pain. Look for yoga, water aerobics, or any other low-impact exercise class. Your local recreation center is bound to offer something, especially for seniors.
Remember, anything that gets them moving is exercise. They can even get steps in at one of the many Valley museums while enjoying the culture and air conditioning. The Musical Instrument Museum, the Heard Museum, and the Phoenix Museum of Art are just a few examples to choose from.
It’s super important to stay cool in this desert heat, but that doesn’t have to stop your elderly loved ones from staying active and healthy. Take advantage of air conditioning and the cooler hours of the day, and don’t forget water! If you'd like some great suggestions for museums and other indoor attractions in the Phoenix area, connect with me today.