It is now May and the summer months are coming and we think it’s fair to say that we all look forward to the warm weather (if we are lucky!). The sunshine makes us feel happy and it offers a great source of vitamin D to keep us healthy. However, higher temperatures and humidity can also present risks to our health. Older people’s bodies in particular, are often unable to adjust to sudden changes in temperature, which makes them more susceptible to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. With this in mind, here are a few tips on how to make the most of the summer weather but stay cool in the process:
- Avoid the hottest times of the day (between 11am – 3pm) – if you do need to venture out make sure you aren’t outside for long periods of time and find shady spots when you can.
- Keep hydrated – even if you’re not thirsty it’s important to drink plenty of water or fruit juice to replace fluids lost during sweating. Avoid caffeine or alcohol which increase dehydration.
- Think lightweight – choose clothing which is loose, lightweight, light coloured and breathable such a white linen shirt.
- Cool down – take cool showers and baths when possible. If you’re out and about, use a cotton hankie soaked in cool water and place it on the back of your neck and on your wrists.
- Cover up – in addition to wearing cooler clothing it’s also important to remember a hat. No matter whether it’s a cotton baseball cap or a straw boater, headwear will help to keep your face in the shade.
- Pick the perfect spot – seek out the coolest areas of your home during warmer weather. Keep curtains and blinds closed to prevent sun heating up rooms, especially your bedroom.
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