July 4th Safety Tips for Seniors

photo of three-generation family having an outdoor picnic on july 4thHappy Independence Day!

Today we celebrate our beautiful country with our family, friends, and loved ones. Maybe you’re going out for a picnic with the family, or an evening barbecue.

If you’re planning to take your elderly parent, grandparent, or other relative out with you, keep these safety tips in mind:

Drink plenty of water

Everyone needs to stay hydrated out in the heat to avoid dehydration. Seniors are especially vulnerable to heat, since their aging bodies can’t regulate body temperature as well.┬áIn addition, seniors don’t feel thirst as much, so you may need to remind Mom to drink every so often.

Stay out of the heat during the hottest part of the day

Today’s going to be a scorcher, topping 90 degrees. If you had plans for an outdoor picnic lunch, consider moving it to an indoor venue or rescheduling it for the evening. If that’s not possible, make sure to set up your meal or activity in a shaded area and have lots of cool drinks and ice cubes handy.

Protect your skin

It’s important to wear sunscreen when you’re out in the sun and reapply it every two hours. If you’ll be sweating a lot, or swimming, you should reapply the sunscreen more often. Make sure Grandma lathers up with sunscreen too; aging skin is thinner and more susceptible to sunburn.

Seniors should also wear wide-brimmed hats to shade their faces and necks.

Watch out for signs of heat exhaustion

If you notice mom or dad becoming confused, disoriented, or dizzy, help them drink , and bring them to a cool, indoor area right away. If their condition worsens or doesn’t improve after half an hour, call their doctor right away.

Here are other signs of heat exhaustion:

  • Cool, moist skin with goose bumps
  • Heavy sweating
  • Faintness
  • Weak and/or rapid pulse
  • Low blood pressure
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Headache

Today’s the perfect day to celebrate with relatives of all ages. Be smart about the heat, and you’ll have a wonderful, safe, happy Fourth of July.





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