It is hot this summer. Heat Stroke and Dehydration are serious problems for everyone during this hot season, but Seniors are especially at risk. Here are some tips on how to help them stay cool.
- Seniors should eat light meals with water saturated foods in the summer. Over 20% of body fluid comes from food, so serve foods like Watermelon, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Berries, and Soups.
- Seniors should drink lots of fluids to avoid dehydrate and heat stroke this summer. Water is best but fruit juices and iced teas are also good.
- Caffeine and alcohol are diuretics, this means that they promote water loss in the body. If a Senior drinks a caffeinated or alcoholic drink in the summer they should also drink some other fluids as well to offset the loss.
- Perspiration is one of the best ways for the body to cool off. Forget deodorant and towels, let sweat air dry as nature intended and it will carry body heat away with it.
- Letting the body air dry after a shower or swim will carry off body heat in the same way as perspiration. Misting the arms lightly in water and letting them air dry will also do the same.
- Did you ever wonder why they like it spicy down in New Orleans? Hot spicy foods promote sweating which is, as listed above, one of the best ways to cool off.
- Seniors should dress for the heat by wearing light-colored loose-fitting clothing. This will protect from the sun while allowing sweat to air dry. Include a light wide-brimmed hat for added shade.
- Even in an air conditioned house fans circulate air and help to keep the room feeling cooler. Consider putting a bucket of ice cubes in front of box fan for an added kick of coolness.
- It’s easy to forget how many heat sources fill out modern lives. To keep cool, turn off the computer, monitor, lights, and use the microwave instead of the oven. If possible, switch incandescent light bulbs out for cooler and more energy efficient compact florescent bulbs.
- Mint tricks our nerves into feeling cooler. Help a Senior to feel less overheated with a nice mint skin lotion massage or a cool glass of mint ice tea.
Warning: It is possible for individuals with serious heart, liver, or kidney problems to over-hydrate. If an elderly loved one has serious health problems ask their Doctor how much fluid they should drink each day.