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When it is very hot outside like during the recent heat waves, we not only feel uncomfortable, but there are also health risks, especially for seniors. Here is a list of some precautions you can take to minimize your health risks and keep your cool in case of another heat wave.

Drink Lots

Really make an effort to drink a lot of water. If you don’t like plain water, you can always add a little lemon juice or a little (other) fruit juice. You can drink water that is hot, warm, or cold—they are all good for you. It is easy to get dehydrated, and dehydration is usually the biggest underlying problem with heat injuries. Or decaffeinated tea or coffee is good, too.

However, keep in mind that drinking caffeinated beverages like tea, coffee, or Coca Cola, does not help to rehydrate you. In fact, caffeinated beverages are diuretics and have the opposite effect. Try to drink a few sips of something water-based every hour.

One way to know if you are drinking enough is if your urine is a light yellow colour and you are urinating at least every couple of hours. If your urine is dark or you are not urinating for more than six hours, then you are likely not getting enough water and hydrating yourself sufficiently. The hotter it is, the more you need to drink.

Exercise

If you want to exercise, don’t do it outside in the heat of the daytime sun. Do it, instead, early in the morning or in the evening when the sun is starting to go down and temperatures are dropping.

Windows

Keep windows closed and shades drawn during the heat of the day, especially if the sun is shining on the window. Open windows at night or early in the morning when it is cooler outside than inside.

Ask for Help

If you are feeling unwell (or notice this in someone else) and exhibiting any of the symptoms related to heat injury such as reduced sweating, headache, and confusion, then ask for help. Heat stroke is considered a medical emergency.

Excessive heat is hard on seniors, and we want everyone to enjoy his or her summer without fear of heat injury. We hope that these tips will keep you safe during any heat waves.

The Hamlets at Vernon is an assisted-living and long-term care community in Vernon, BC, Canada. Designed to take the worry out of senior retirement home living and following the tenets of Christianity, The Hamlets at Vernon offers compassionate care in a beautiful environment.

If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about our community, please call us at (236) 426-1488.