While it is important for Seniors to continue social distancing, wearing face mask, and sanitizing frequently touched surfaces maintaining proper handwashing during the COVID 19 pandemic, it is also important to maintain a healthy immune system by getting outdoors. Fresh air, exercise, and sunlight boosts your immunity. Georgetown University Medical Center researchers have found that sunlight, through a mechanism separate than vitamin D production, energizes T cells that play a central role in human immunity.
Caregivers and seniors can stay cool and active using these tips.
Tip 1: Pay Attention to Heat Wave Reports
When you check the weather, pay attention to reports of heat waves. A combination of humidity and temperature, heat waves can affect the body temperature dangerously. There are three progressive levels of heat wave indicators to look for:
A heat watch indicates that a heat wave may be swelling up, increasing the risk of heat-related health problems. At this point, relocate any outdoor plans you have for the next two days to the indoors.
Heat warnings indicate a heat wave is imminent. Seniors should prepare for outages and being home-bound for a few days. Once a heat advisory is issued, seniors need to stay inside cool buildings and drink plenty of water. (Red Cross)
Tip 2: Stay Hydrated
One of the best ways to prevent heat-related health problems is simply to stay hydrated. Avoid caffeine, which actually dehydrates the body. Drink 8 glasses of water, fruit juices, and even healthy sports drinks to stay cool and filled up with needed fluid.
Tip 3: Protect Your Skin but Dress for Summer Weather
You’re never too old to suffer from sunburn. Protect your skin against sunburn and even skin cancer simply by applying sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more. Wear hats and light clothing too.
Light, airy clothing is best in the heat. Tight, dark, thick clothing can be problematic. To ensure comfort in air conditioning and outdoors, dress in easy to remove layers.
Tip 4: Recognize Signs of Heat-Related Emergencies
Being able to spot the signs of a heat-related emergency can save a life. Caregivers and seniors should pay attention to symptoms like:
- Headache Quickened
- Dizziness heartbeat
- Lack of sweat
- Difficulty breathing or shallow breathing
- Weakness or cramping
- Stomach problems or nausea
Signs like these can be indicators of dehydration, heat exhaustion, or even heat stroke. If you notice these symptoms, take steps to cool off quickly and seek medical attention. (WebMD)
Tip 5: Know How to Get Cool Quickly
If someone is overheated or begins to show signs of heat-related health problems, get them cool quickly.
Getting cool can prevent overheating from becoming a medical problem or reduce the severity of a heat- related emergency. (Family Doctor)
1. Get out of the heat and into a cool space
2. Remove excess clothing, including shoes & socks
3. Lie down and elevate the legs
4. Apply cool, wet towels Drink water or a sports beverage
For assistance or support with companion care or personal care: Call (323) 325 – 1077