How Seniors Can Take Precautions During Hot Days

two seniors having a glass of wine together on a hot day in Hawaii

The rising temperatures of summer brings an increased risk of heat exhaustion and stroke. Seniors and the elderly are at a particularly high risk.  A recent University of Chicago Medical Center study found that 40% of heat-related fatalities in the U.S. were among people over 65. Elderly heat stroke is a real problem.

As we age it can become more difficult to notice changes in our body temperature.

Many seniors have underlying health conditions that contribute to making it harder for them to adapt to heat. Many medications that seniors take can actually contribute to dehydration. There are a few simple precautions that we can take to keep ourselves and loved ones safe. Here are some helpful tips to keep safe during the extreme heat of the summer months.

Advice for Seniors During Hot Summer Days:


Drink Lots of Liquids

The main reason behind most heat related health problems is dehydration. Drink plenty of water, even when you are not thirsty. Remember to stay away from caffeinated or alcoholic drinks. These types of drinks contribute to dehydration.

Heat-related Illness; Knowing the Warning Signs

Feeling dizzy, nauseous, increased heart rate, headache, pain in your chest, trouble breathing and fainting are all warning signs that should not be ignored! If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms,immediately reach out for help.

Take it Easy

When it’s very hot out avoid exercise and strenuous activity, particularly outdoors.

Wear the Right Clothing

A happy elderly couple outside in a park during the summer months

When the temperature rises to dangerous highs, wear lighter-colored clothing. Avoid dark clothes that are too tight. Wearing a hat as another way to find relief from the heat of the sun. When it comes to the extreme heat of New York Summers, smart clothing choices are a must.

During the Day – Stay Indoors

Try to run errands in the morning.  It is suggested to be outdoors in the morning before 10am or in the evening after 6pm, this is when the temperature tends to be cooler.

Staying in cooler environments during the day is recommended to avoid heat exhaustion or stroke.

Check the Heat Index

elderly couple sitting in their backyardOur body’s ability to keep itself cool by sweating becomes impaired when the humidity is increased. The heat index measures the humidity and temperature to estimate how the weather really feels. You can find the heat index on all popular weather websites. The local news also announces the heat index during weather reports.

Find Air-Conditioned Environments

During extreme heat, Seniors whose homes are not air-conditioned should find air-conditioned places to spend time.A museum, library or movie theater are all popular options. If finding a place with air-conditioning proves to be difficult it is suggested that seniors take a cool bath or shower.

Remember to enjoy the summer months but always be prepared when you head outside!