5 Summer Safety Tips for Michigan Seniors

seniors in the sunEnjoying an afternoon of summer fun at one of Michigan’s parks or lakes is something many seniors and their families look forward to all winter long. But for older adults summer presents different risks, including hyperthermia.

That is the condition that results when your body gets too hot. It can cause basic bodily functions and systems to shut down. Untreated, it can lead to heat stroke. For a variety of reasons ranging from pre-existing medical conditions to medication side effects, summer can put older adults at greater risk for it and for several other health concerns.

So what can you do to keep a Michigan senior safe in the sun this summer?

5 Summer Safety Tips for a Michigan Senior Loved One

  1. Be aware of your loved one’s risk factors, especially potential medication side effects. Some medicines increase sensitivity to sun while others require more fluid intake to prevent dehydration.
  2. Make hydration a priority. Encourage your senior loved one to carry a water bottle with them all of the time. They can also pump up their fluid levels by eating foods with high water content. Healthy examples include cucumbers, melons, celery, iceberg lettuce, green pepper, cauliflower, and spinach.
  3. Keep an eye on the clock. Limit sun time to off peak hours. The best times to enjoy the outdoors are early mornings and later evenings. That is when heat and humidity are at their lowest levels.
  4. Wear a hat, sunglasses, and a loose fitting, long-sleeved top outdoors. They will help protect you from the sun.
  5. Lather on the sunscreen. One of the most common mistakes people in make in the summer is using too little sunscreen and not applying it frequently enough. As we age, our skin becomes thinner and more fragile. It puts older adults more at risk for sunburn and sun poisoning.

We hope this helps you and your senior loved one safely enjoy the summer!