Summer Safety Tips for Older Adults

It’s been one hot summer in central Ohio. Hot weather can be uncomfortable at any age, but it’s especially worrisome for vulnerable populations like animals, young children, and older adults. Heat-related health dangers are no joke. Hot weather poses many potential health risks such as dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and even death. Collectively, heat-related illnesses are known as hyperthermia. Learn tips to stay safe and beat the heat this season.

Hot weather safety tips

The best way to avoid hot weather is to stay indoors in a well ventilated and air-conditioned space. If you don’t have access to an air conditioner or fan, stay with family or friends or head to a public place such as a library, movie theater, shopping mall, or your local senior center. If you plan to head outdoors, check local weather conditions to see if an air quality alert has been issued for your area. This alert means that the pollution in the air will make it more difficult to breathe. This warning should always be heeded, especially by older adults and those who suffer from respiratory problems like asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema. If you must travel outdoors, follow these safety guidelines:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, even if you’re not thirsty
  • Avoid caffeine, sugar, and alcohol
  • Eat light meals
  • Wear light-weight and light-colored clothing
  • Wear a hat
  • Apply sunscreen liberally across all exposed skin
  • Stay in the shade when possible
  • Check on your neighbors, friends, and family members to ensure they are safe

How to help others beat the heat

If you suspect that someone is suffering from a heat-related illness, get the person out of the heat and into a cool place — whether in the shade or an air-conditioned room. Encourage them to lie down and apply a cold towel to the places where blood passes close to the surface of the skin, such as the wrists, neck, and armpits. If they can swallow safely, give them water. If they are experiencing warning signs of a heat-related illness such as dizziness, nausea, rapid heartbeat, chest pain, or breathing problems or you suspect they are suffering a heat stroke, call 911 immediately.

Free fans from LifeCare Alliance

LifeCare Alliance is offering free fans to those in need in Franklin County through their Beat the Heat Fan Campaign. Donations can be made to your nearest Franklin County fire station. Because of safety issues, only new fans are accepted. Last year, over 2,000 fans were collected and distributed! Visit their website for more information about how to get a fan, how to donate a fan, and how to help others stay cool this summer.

Cool down at Friendship Village Columbus

Fancy a cold treat? FVC’s annual Ice Cream Social is on Friday, August 2, 2019, at 2pm. Join us for an old-fashioned afternoon of ice cream, berry buckles, and entertainment by the Bill Foley trio. Call (614) 304-3195 to RSVP today!