There’s no doubt about it: in most of the U.S., summer is most definitely upon us. While you might associate July and August with beach trips, pool parties and cookouts, the hot weather also brings health risks – especially for older Americans, who are less likely to sense and respond to changes in temperature. So while you’re enjoying these activities – and retirement favorites like golf and hiking – here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control for avoiding heat exhaustion, dehydration and other risks to older folks’ health when the mercury rises:
- Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible. Contact your local health department or locate an air-conditioned shelter in your area.
- Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device during an extreme heat event.
- Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
- Check on a friend or neighbor and have someone do the same for you.
- Don’t use the stove or oven to cook—it will make you and your house hotter.
- Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
- Check the local news for health and safety updates.
- Seek medical care immediately if you have, or someone you know has, symptoms of heat-related illness like muscle cramps, headaches, nausea or vomiting.