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Health

5 Tips For Older Adults to Stay Safe in the Summer Heat

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We're well into summer, and with that comes soaring outdoor temperatures and muggy afternoons. While high temperatures can adversely affect anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors, older adults are especially vulnerable to the summer heat. If you plan to spend time outdoors during the hot summer months, here are 5 tips for staying safe:

1. Stay hydrated. It's important to drink a lot of fluids when it's hot outdoors. "Water is best, but, for those who don't like to drink plain water for various reasons, I encourage drinking a lot of whatever you enjoy," explained Leanne Schwickerath, R.N. Coordinator of Assisted Living for Newton Village. "That can include coffee, tea, juice, and even soda."

2. Wear a hat to shade your head and face, and wear light-colored clothing to reflect the sunlight.

3. Find shady spots for an occasional rest. "If you can't find cooler shady spots, take an umbrella with you," added Schwickerath. "That way you'll have your own shade with you all the time. Be aware that certain types of medications, especially diuretics and antibiotics, can make you feel uncomfortable or sick in high heat situations; this can be especially dangerous for older adults."

4. The best time to exercise outdoors is in the early morning. "I encourage older adults to get daily exercise; walking is terrific for those who can do it safely," said Schwickerath. "The early morning is a great time to do it, since it's cooler and you won't perspire so much that you'll get dehydrated. While evenings are also cooler for outdoor exercise, you usually have to contend with mosquitos or other bugs."

5. Eat foods that hydrate you. "Eating foods that are high in water content will help you stay hydrated throughout the day," said Schwickerath. "Fruits and vegetables, especially watermelon, honeydew melon, grapes, cucumbers, and iceberg lettuce are great choices."

For more information, please contact:

Newton Village

110 N. 5th Avenue W

Newton, Iowa 50208

Ph: 641-792-0115

www.newtonvillage.org