How Seniors Can Stay Healthy During the Humid Summer Months

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In the Greater Boston Area, we can get hit with humidity for days at a time, especially in July and August. While we may find ourselves yearning for brisk autumn days, we do need to find ways to deal with the thick, sticky air. Seniors need to be extra careful during Boston summers because it’s more difficult to deal with heat as we grow older.

As we age, we are more susceptible to heat ailments such as hyperthermia (the body can’t cool down in hot weather) and heat exhaustion (develops a few days after heat exposure if the body is not rehydrated). Additionally, those who take certain medications such as tricyclic antidepressants, aspirin, or diuretics are at a greater risk of being impacted by the heat. Continue reading our guide below for tips and tricks to keep your loved one healthy on hot summer days.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water is critical, and this holds true any day of the week. Even if your loved one is not thirsty, s/he should be sipping on water throughout the day. Purchasing a water bottle with a fruit infuser will make the water much more enjoyable. Add some lemons, mint, or strawberries for a burst of flavor.

Signs & symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble walking
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dry mouth

Make the Living Space Cooler

If possible, have your loved one stay in an air-conditioned space and keep in mind, the air conditioner does not need to be on throughout the entire day. Just run the unit during the hottest hours. While fans will provide a breeze, they will not help cool the body down. Keep the blinds and curtains shut to block the sun. According to Consumer Reports, “…smart management of window coverings can reduce heat gain by up to 77 percent.” Additionally, taking a cool shower or bath will help lower body temperature.

Going Outside – What to Wear

Wide-brimmed hats aren’t just a fashion statement. These attractive accessories protect your head, neck, and back against the sun’s strong UV rays. Sunglasses are also a huge help, and because there are so many options to choose from, it can be quite fun shopping for protective eyewear. Sunscreen should be worn daily, even in the winter. Also, light-colored clothes and fabrics will make going outside and running errands much more bearable.

At New Horizons at Marlborough, we have a nurse on staff 24 hours a day, so our residents feel completely comfortable all year round. Our units are all air-conditioned, and we have a beautiful indoor pool to cool off in. Schedule a tour today!

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