Water

 

Here are a few simple tips that can help prevent common heat-related conditions, such as dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and heat syncope (fainting). Studies show that people over the age of 50 are the most likely to fall victim to those conditions)

Older adults are less able to cool down quickly than their younger counterparts and they are less likely to feel dehydrated.

Many older adults are also on medication regimens for heart disease, diabetes and other chronic conditions that can increase risks of heat-related problems. This includes over-the-counter drugs like allergy medications, water pills, and sinus medications. Ask your doctor if any of your medications may adversely affect your ability to withstand hotter temperatures.

Here are a few tips to help you stay cool:

1. Drink plenty of cool water, sports drinks with electrolytes, and clear juices. Avoid excessive caffeine or alcohol consumption, as those liquids can cause you to become dehydrated.

2. Save yard work or long walks outside for the early morning or the hours close to sundown or early in the morning.

3. Don’t take showers that are too hot or too cold. If you need a quick way to cool down, apply washcloths or towels to your wrists, ankles, armpits and neck.

4. Stay out of the sun. A sunburn can make it harder for your body to cool down, so it’s best to stay inside, in the air conditioning for most of the day. Need to be outside anyway? Opt for loose, light-colored clothing (dark clothes absorb heat). A light, broad-brimmed hat and will also protect you from harmful UV rays. Finally, remember to wear sunscreen with 15 SPF or higher, and remember to re-apply.