6 July, 2022 | 5 min read

Summer Heat Safety Tips for Seniors

Beautiful blooming flowers, inviting swimming pools and long-awaited visits from family signify summer has finally arrived.

Along with the fresh vegetable gardens however, it is also a reminder to be aware of what the summer heat and additional hours of sunshine can bring.

The great news is that you can still go outside and enjoy the season while keeping yourself safe. 

Summer heat safety tips

Consider these safety recommendations to keep yourself cool and protected:

Summer heat safety tip #1: Plan your outings

The best choice is to schedule your outings for the early morning or in the evening.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Council on Aging, older adults are less efficient at regulating temperature, which makes them more susceptible to heat.  

Your body has to work harder to maintain a normal temperature during the heat of summer. Try to avoid activities outdoors when the sun is most intense which is typically between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Summer heat safety tip #2: Dress for the heat

Choose clothing that is loose-fitting and lightweight. Avoid dark colors and select breathable fabrics such as cotton to help you remain cooler in the heat of summer.  

If you’re planning for an outdoor excursion, pay attention to the weather forecast to help you dress appropriately for the day. Don’t forget to keep your head cool as well, with a wide-brimmed hat which will not only protect your head from the sun but also provide shade for your eyes.

Summer heat safety tip #3: Don’t forget the sunscreen

Keep sunscreen handy and always apply before venturing outside. Choose one with a minimum of SPF 30 and that provides “broad-spectrum” protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Check the expiration date and replace if needed.

Put your sunscreen on about 15 minutes before you go out and reapply every two hours if you go swimming. Make sure you cover all exposed skin areas generously, including those often overlooked – ears, lips and the tops of your feet.

Summer heat safety tip #4: Protect your eyes

Strong exposure to the sun can not only be an irritant to your eyes but also cause damage. Ultraviolet or UV radiation can damage the eye’s surface tissues, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Take precautions when going outside and remember that clouds don’t block UV light.

Purchase sunglasses that provide 100% UV or UV400 protection. Wear a hat with a broad brim. Sunlight is strongest during the midday to early afternoon, at higher altitudes and whenever it is reflected off of water, ice or snow so try to avoid these situations. 

Summer heat safety tip #5: Stay hydrated

As we grow older, we often don’t recognize as quickly that we are thirsty, signaling that we need to take a drink. We also don’t sweat as effectively which helps monitor and cool our internal temperature. 

As the heat rises, it’s more important than ever to drink sufficient liquids to stay hydrated. Water is always a good choice. Coffee or tea can actually have the opposite effect and lead to dehydration. 

Summer heat safety tip #6: Understand your medications

You may be unaware of the side-effects of all your prescriptions but now is the perfect time to familiarize yourself. Look for any warnings that your medication can increase your sensitivity to the sun. 

Another area of caution that certain medications are affected by higher temperatures and will need to be stored in cooler places. Failure to do so can also make them become less effective. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Summer heat safety tip #7: Have access to air-conditioning

Remaining indoors where there is no air-conditioning can also put you at a higher risk when temperatures are soaring. Opening windows and fans might help but during times of extreme heat seek cooler air.

Have a plan in place so you can escape the rising degrees of a summer day. Consider going to a movie, the mall for shopping, a community day center, library or a friend or family’s home when relief is needed. 

Summer heat safety tip #8: Be aware of the signs of heat-related illnesses

Know what to look for before heading into summer so if you or a companion is beginning to experience side-effects from the sun, you’ll recognize the signs and can take appropriate action.

The following symptoms may be triggered by excessive heat-related conditions:

  • Disorientation
  • Dry skin
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Headache
  • Lethargy or nausea
  • Flushed face
  • High body temperature
  • Rapid pulse
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion 

Source: Council on Aging

Life at Eskaton Communities

The word Eskaton means “dawn of a new day.” In our communities, we see each day as an opportunity to enhance the lives of our residents. We’ve been serving the Sacramento region and Northern California for over 50 years.

The Eskaton Difference starts with our life-enriching programs and collaborative partnerships. With a national reputation for innovation, we focus on creating communities that provide our residents everything they need for purposeful living.

We invite you to visit one of our award-winning communities to discover some of the benefits we offer, such as:

  • Private residences
  • Delicious and nutritious meals
  • Social opportunities to meet and make new friends
  • Creative activities and therapies
  • Fitness centers and exercise classes
  • Housekeeping services
  • Transportation services
  • 24-hour staffing
  • Pet-friendly
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • And much, much more!

If you’re considering whether senior living could be the best choice for you or a loved one, we’re here to answer any questions that you may have. We also invite you to download our complimentary information,  Just the Facts: Your Guide to Assisted Living. To schedule a personalized tour, call us at 1-866-ESKATON (1-866-375-2866) or visit eskaton.org.

Just the Facts: Your Guide to Assisted living