Beat the Heat

As I write I have been watching the rain fall onto the scorching blacktop streets of my neighborhood.   It feels good on the porch in the evenings.  But, the middle of the day is a bit unbearable for me.  Summertime is no joke in Alabama.  I remember moving South the summer of 1985.  July to be exact.  Being that I moved from way up North…it seriously took me two entire weeks for my system to adjust.  Heat is not anything for anyone to play around with. It can be particularly concerning for the elderly.  Here are some tips to help our seniors keep their cool this summer.

Drink Up! The key to staying healthy is to stay hydrated!  Drink eight or more 8-ounce glasses per day of water every day.  Be aware of the signs of dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. The most common signs of dehydration in the elderly are thirst, confusion, irritability and poor skin elasticity.  So, don’t wait…HYDRATE!

walking man sweat

Block the Rays!  Protect your skin from sun damage by wearing hats, sunglasses and don’t forget the sunscreen!  Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.  Remember as we age, our skin becomes more sensitive to the sun.

 

Dress for Sunny Success!  When selecting what to wear go with loose-fitting clothes in light colors that will reflect the sun and heat instead of darker colors that will absorb heat.  This will help you avoid a sunburn and stay cool.

couple biking

It’s important to know that extreme heat can wreak havoc on older adults.  According to healthinaging.org, “Every summer, nearly 200 Americans die of health problems caused by high heat and humidity. Hot weather is more likely to cause health problems for older adults for a variety of reasons. These reasons include aging-related physical changes in the body, chronic health conditions, and even side effects of taking some medications.”  Remember heat and dehydration may make seniors more prone to dizziness and falls and can cause/increase confusion. But the proper precautions can help set them up for success. If the heat is too extreme…stay inside with air conditioning!  Keep you and your elderly loved ones safe this summer and do your part to help them beat the heat.

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Enjoy The Sun, But Protect Your Skin

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in the USA. About 3.5 Million cases of Basal Cell and Squamous Cell skin cancer are diagnosed each year in the USA. Melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, will be diagnosed in 73,000 individual in the USA in 2015.

We all love to spend time outdoors and enjoy the sun.  The American Cancer Society has a quick guide to protecting yourself from sun damage and potential skin cancer.  It’s called the “Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap” Rule.

  1. Slip on a shirt – Wear protective clothing when you go outside, expose as little skin as possible.
  2. Slop on the Sunscreen Use sunscreen and lip balm with at least 30 SPF or higher and reapply every 2 hours.
  3. Slap on a hat – Cover your head with a wide brim hat, remember to protect your neck and ears.
  4. Wrap on Sunglasses Wear Sunglasses to protect your eyes

Enjoy your time outdoors this summer and reduce your risk of skin cancer.