By Anna Hazard
With the coming of long, warm, and sunny days, it's a good opportunity for seniors, as well as their caregivers, to take some of their recreational activities outside to soak up some rays and take advantage of the good weather for the next couple of months. In particular, sun exposure helps to generate Vitamin D within the body, a vitamin that tends to be inefficiently produced as one grows older and which many seniors are deficient in during the colder months.
However, remember to keep senior loved ones properly hydrated as temperatures rise and activities increase, especially as the perception of thirst can diminish with age. This, as well as the decline in a body's ability to regulate and adjust to temperature, and the presence of other health problems & further complications arising from other medicines being taken, makes seniors particularly susceptible to temperature related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
To counteract any potential problems, seniors should stay indoors or in other cooled & ventilated areas during peak temperatures (between 10AM and 5PM on hot days). When venturing outside, sunscreen of at least SPF 30 should always be applied to exposed skin areas and cover should always be available, whether it be nearby shady trees, a quick trip indoors, or bringing along sun parasols in case of overexposure.
While taking part in these fun activities, please remain watchful for any signs of fatigue, thirst, sunburn, overheating, or overexposure.