If you're 65 or older, you're more susceptible to health problems that can come with hot weather. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are various reasons why seniors don't adjust as well as younger people to changes in temperature. For instance, various health issues and prescription medications can impact the body's ability to regulate heat. As a senior, you'll have to be more conscious than others about staying cool, especially in the warm summer months. Here are three tips for regulating body temperature:
Keep Your Environment Cool
The best way to regulate your temperature is to stay in a cool, comfortable area. That's easier with indoor air conditioning, but you'll want to take additional steps like not using your oven or stove to keep your room cooler. Don't be a "hero" and try to suffer through without turning on the A/C - it's healthier to maintain a consistent temperature in your space. Fans can't provide this consistency and won't prevent heat-related health conditions on days with 90-degree-plus temperatures. Don't have A/C or it doesn't seem to be working? Visit the library, a retail store, a restaurant, or other public spot to keep your cool.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
By the time you feel thirsty, you're already on your way to dehydration. Sip water or a water-based, non-alcoholic drink throughout the day. Try to avoid sugary or caffeinated drinks as they may even make dehydration worse. If you're taking a medication that has a diuretic effect, be sure to consult with a medical professional to establish a baseline amount to drink. You may need more than you think.
Dress Right for the Weather
Lightweight and loose-fitting clothing can keep you cooler than fabrics that are heavy or tight. A natural material like cotton or linen can help your body stay cooler than synthetic fabrics will allow. If you're not sure how warm temperatures will get, or if the day is initially cool, dress in easy-to-remove layers. And if you'll be outside, don't forget to regularly apply a high-SPF sunscreen. By preventing burns that can keep your skin feeling hot, you'll stay cooler and reduce your risk of skin cancer.
Affordable senior housing doesn't mean a reduction in comfort. At Ebenezer, apartments for independent living and assisted living facilities help you stay comfortable regardless of the conditions outside. For information about our communities in Florida, Iowa and Minnesota and the amenities we offer, contact us.