Summer Safety Tips for Seniors

Senior woman outside wearing sunhat

All this social distancing has motivated many of us to focus on how to tidy and organize our personal spaces. As we ease into summer, there are many things you can do to not only put order to your home and yard, but make these places safer for you and your loved ones during this warm season. 

  • When outdoors, dress to protect yourself: From hats to shoes, there are many reasons to protect yourself while you’re outside. Gear up to protect yourself from lawn and garden pests, harmful chemicals, sharp or motorized equipment, insects, and the harmful effects of too much sun.
  • Know your limits in the sun and heat: Stay hydrated and take breaks often. Get to shaded areas or take a break in air-conditioned spaces when you can. Being out for even short periods of time in high temperatures can cause serious health problems. Monitor your activities and time in the sun to lower your risk for heat-related illness.
  • Know the signs of trouble: If a loved one experiences heavy sweating, weakness, a fast and weak pulse, nausea or fainting, this could mean they are suffering from heat exhaustion. In contrast, if someone is suffering from heat stroke, a more serious condition, they will actually experience decreased sweating, have a very high body temperature and may lose consciousness. In either case, move the person to a cool location as quickly as possible. Have them lie down, loosen clothing and apply cool, wet cloths to as much of the body as possible. Have them sip some cool water or a sports drink. If symptoms don’t subside quickly, call 911.
  • Remove hazards and add safety features around your house: Inspect your smoke alarms and remove or secure area rugs. Make safety improvements and additions, such as non-slip flooring, grab bars in the bathroom, and night lights throughout the house. If you can’t DIY, as social distancing rules ease, find a contractor who specializes in these sorts of adaptations. The Consumer Product Safety Commission offers a free, online Home Safety Checklist that is uniquely suited for seniors.

And just one more! 

  • Clean out your medicine cabinet: Like most of us, you probably have lots in there that can be tossed. How many times have you pushed past that five-year-old jar of “miracle” anti-aging cream or that anti-bacterial gel that expired when Friends aired its first episode? It’s okay. We’ve all done it! The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) offers a list of places where you can dispose of your prescription drugs safely.

Enjoy your summer!

Whether indoors or out, your good health and safety are important. This season offers a great opportunity to get physical activity, beautify your home and yard, and connect with those you love, whether virtually or in person, depending on social distancing rules. With a little diligence and preparation, everyone should be able to enjoy a fun and safe summer.

Family Home Health Network is here to help you, at home, by making a positive difference in the lives of our patients and your loved ones.