​Keeping Loved ones, and yourself, safe from the summer heat

Last week our Senior Nutrition Dietitian shared about the importance of hydration for older adults, especially during the warmer months. Another real health concern during the summer, particularly for older adults, is heat stress.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that adults over the age of 65 are more susceptible to heat stress because, as we age, we do not adjust as well to quick changes in temperature and are more likely to have chronic conditions and/or take medications that can affect our body's ability to regulate temperature.

There are a few ways you and your loved ones can stay cool this summer and here are some things to keep in mind.

Find a cool place

Staying in air conditioning is best but if you or your loved ones can't cool down at home a great option is to go to a public space with air conditioning. Coming to lunch at one of the Volunteers of America senior dining centers is a great way for older adults to get out of the house, socialize, have a great meal, and cool down in the air conditioning.

Take breaks

Try to do any unavoidable outdoor activities during the coolest point in the day. If you do have to be in the heat, take breaks often and find a way to cool down like sitting by a fan or taking a cold shower.

Drink water

As we learned in last week's blog, hydration is vital to health, particularly in the heat. Try to drink at least five 8 oz. glasses of water every day. Avoid alcoholic beverages.

Have a check in buddy

If are concerned that heat stress might affect you or someone you are caring for, make sure you have a daily visitor to check in. Everyday volunteers deliver meals to seniors through our Meals on Wheels program. On top of the senior getting a nutritious meal, Meals on Wheels volunteers are able to check in with the seniors and make sure they are doing ok.

You can help!

At Volunteers of America we are working to make sure that older adults in our community are staying safe this summer through our Cool Down Stay Safe program. Hundreds of seniors will be receiving large box fans over the next couple of weeks as well as a small first aid kit and information about staying cool. If you would like to find out more about this or get involved, call us at 303-297-0408 and ask for the Handyman Program.

Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention, http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/older-adults-heat.asp