The summer months are typically a good mix of relaxation and fun for most Philadelphia seniors. Whether you have more opportunity to get out and enjoy the weather with family and friends or you choose to dedicate a portion of the warm days to gardening and golfing – there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Either way, it’s important for seniors to pay close attention to their health whenever they spend time in the heat. Seniors are at risk for several different health complications if they become overheated or dehydrated, so don’t forget to take proper precautions this summer! Keep reading to check out a few of PPH’s best summer safety tips for seniors.

8 Summer Safety Tips Every Senior Should Follow

1. Drink More Water

Staying hydrated should be the number one safety rule that seniors follow during the hot summer season. While the standard suggestion for water intake is 6-8 cups per day for adults, if you’ll be spending lots of time outdoors, you should try to drink more to avoid dehydration. Be sure that you’ve got a water bottle that you can easily fill up throughout the day and don’t forget to rehydrate whenever you get home after a long day of running errands.

2. Limit Time Spent in the Heat

Philadelphia can get very hot during the summer, so on particularly high-temperature days, be sure to limit the amount of time you must spend outdoors. Check the weather forecast regularly and plan accordingly; this way you can avoid spending too many long hours in the sun.

If you want to take a walk around our gardens at PPH or participate in other outdoor activities on a particularly hot day, be sure to drink a lot of water and take frequent breaks indoors to cool off. You can find hydration stations at multiple reception areas. You can also cool down with some cold snacks at our community’s on-site convenience store, Tabor Market, or Scoops, our ice cream parlor!

3. Wear Sunscreen

Everyone should wear sunscreen when spending time outdoors and seniors can especially benefit from the extra sun protection during the summer months. Apply sunscreen before heading outside and be sure to reapply throughout the day. If you’re walking around the streets of Philadelphia, keep a travel size sunscreen bottle in your purse or bag so that you always have some with you and set an alarm on your phone to remind you when to reapply. Similarly, if you decide to venture on a day trip to the Jersey shore, remember to reapply frequently and bring a beach umbrella for shade.

4. Use Air Conditioning

Summer heat waves can result in serious health complications for seniors, so it’s important to make sure you are comfortable and safe in your home or apartment whenever possible. All apartments at PPH have air conditioning to help our residents stay cool in the summer heat.

Try to plan your day around the heat and make sure you’re spending the hottest parts of the day indoors. If you are spending the day in the city, check out some Philadelphia’s famed museums such as the Philadelphia Art of Museum, Rodin Museum, Natural History Museum or bring your young family members to the Franklin Institute.

At PPH, we have tons of activities available to seniors from a bowling alley to craft and activity rooms. You can also venture off grounds to go grocery shopping, catch a show at your local movie theater or walk around the King of Prussia mall.

5. Check Your Prescriptions

Certain medications can make people more sensitive to the sun, so look over your current prescriptions and take extra precautions as necessary. While you should never skip a medication prescribed by your doctor, in most cases you won’t have to skip your planned outdoor activities either. Just be aware of the possible side effects and follow the other suggestions on this list to avoid any heat-related complications. If you have any questions about your medications, visit PPH’s on-site pharmacy to get the clarity and answers you need to enjoy your day outdoors.

6. Dress Appropriately

While applying lots of sunscreen is a good idea whenever you go outside, you should be dressing for the hot weather as well. Hats are great for providing shade while you’re working or driving and can also help to regulate your body temperature. Additionally, light and airy clothing made from cotton or linen is ideal for those hot summer days. You can still enjoy our community’s garden and walking path with the proper safety precautions!

7. Know the Warning Signs of Heat-Related Illness

Abnormally high body temperatures during the summer can result in a number of different health complications, including hyperthermia. If left untreated, hyperthermia can result in heat stroke, which can be life-threatening in severe cases. Be sure to know the warning signs of heat-related illness and seek medical attention immediately if you or a loved one is experiencing any of the following:

  • A high body temperature above 104 degrees
  • Not sweating when it is very hot
  • Changes in behavior like sudden agitation, confusion or feeling grouchy
  • Heavy breathing
  • Nausea, vomiting or fainting
  • Headaches
  • Rapid pulse
  • Dry, blushed skin

8. Be Smart About Exercise

There is nothing wrong with staying on top of your personal fitness, especially as you enter your golden years, but exercising in the heat is not recommended. In the summer, you should switch up your workouts to coincide with the coolest parts of the day. If you exercise outside, be sure to take frequent breaks to avoid overheating. Workout in the early morning hours or later in the evening when the sun has set.

At PPH, you also have an option to move your activity indoors with PPH Wellness & Aquatics center including an indoor pool and fitness center. Our bowling alley is also located in this area. Don’t let the extreme heat keep you from reaching your exercise goals and make sure to listen to your body to stay healthy this summer!

Have Fun and Stay Cool This Summer

Follow these simple health and safety tips to ensure that you have a cool and relaxing summer here in Philadelphia. Interested in more great health and lifestyle tips for seniors? Be sure to check out our blog! For more information about life at our continuing care retirement community, contact our friendly team at The Philadelphia Protestant Home online today!