Posts Tagged ‘dehydration’

Senior citizens and even those not so senior, such as those in mid life need to take precautions in the summer months to ensure that they do not have to cope with a heat-related medical problem such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

There are ways to prevent heat-related illnesses from affecting you or someone you love. One of the most important things you can do is very simple. You must drink plenty of fluids on a daily basis. Do not wait until you feel thirsty, instead drink up frequently! Just keep drinking and sipping (especially water!) throughout the day. The more active you are the more you should drink. One exception to this is if your physician has restricted the amount of fluids you are to take in due to a medical problem.

You want to avoid alcohol and caffeine as much as possible because they both can increase the amount of fluids you can lose.

If you have an air conditioner and the evening is very balmy then leave it on when you go to bed. This can help you to have a fitful night’s sleep. If you do not have an air conditioner or do not want to run it throughout the night then open  some windows if it is safe to do so in order for cross ventilation to take place.

During the daytime when the sun is at its hottest close the curtains or blinds in your home. This should help out block out some of the heat and light and will help to make the rooms in your home cooler.

Buy as many fans as you need. Choose whatever sizes are most appropriate for your house. Put a fan in every room if necessary. Make sure you place them in a safe place that is away from the fingers of little children and the paws of any pets you may have.

If despite your best efforts your place is still sweltering during the day (or if you do not own an air conditioner) then go someplace where you know that there is air conditioning. Take a stroll through the local mall or go visit a friend. Visit the public library or drop by the local senior’s center to cool off, enjoy some conversation and to get refreshed. Spend at least two hours in an air conditioned place when the heat is really high.

Choose natural fabrics such as cotton or cotton blends that are cool and fit your body loosely. Clothing that is light in color will reflect the sun and the heat much better than will colors that are dark. When you go outside wear a wide brimmed hat to keep your face shaded. If you must be outside for a while then consider setting up an umbrella for shade.

It is not advisable for seniors (and in fact those of any age) to exercise too vigorously when it is really hot out. If you must, engage in light physical activity only. Save more strenuous workout for when the weather is cooler.

It is always a good habit to get into to watch weather reports on television or check them out online. The risks to your health increase with high temperatures and increased humidity levels. You should also pay close attention to the alerts regarding air pollution.


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