Summer Safety Tips for AdultsBy Jill Poser July 12, 2012 | 09:00 AMPosted in: Personal Safety, Family, Senior Safety
A couple of weeks
ago my husband and I went for our usual Sunday bike ride. It was the routine as
always. He checked the air in the tires;
I filled my basket with water bottles, made sure we applied sun block, wore our
hats and sunglasses and away we went!
The sun was shining, a nice breeze blowing and we were biking at a
steady pace. Only on that particular
Sunday, we biked at noon instead of heading out at 8 AM. We stopped a couple of times for water
breaks, but about six miles into the ride I felt different. Suddenly, I needed to stop, and within a
minute or two, I was lightheaded, very dizzy and my body felt like it was
burning up. I remember my husband asking me questions, but I could not answer. In fact, it became impossible to do
anything. The next thing you know, I was
lying on the ground with paramedics around me administering oxygen and ice
packs. Luckily, I was taken by ambulance
to the hospital, where I was well cared for.
I was diagnosed with heat exhaustion and dehydration. How did this happen to me? I immediately
thought about my folks and my uncle and how the outcome could have been more
enough liquid and water to stay hydrated during the summer months is a
challenge for anyone, but for older adults, it is even more so. Unfortunately, dehydrated older adults are at
a higher risk of infections and pneumonia. On average, we are expected to drink
6-8 glasses of liquid a day. If we exercise or engage in any activity that
makes us sweat, we are expected to drink more. In addition to carrying a medical alert device, it is recommended that if you
exercise vigorously, especially during hot summer weather; drink an additional
4 to 16 ounces of water every 20 minutes. Don’t wait until the end of your
workout. You must drink before you feel thirsty because you slow down and lose
power long before you have any signal you are dehydrated. Continue replacing fluids after you are
thing is that as people age, they may experience a decrease in their thirst
sensation. As body water decreases with age, it becomes easier to dehydrate.
Certain medications can cause water loss and limited mobility and, sometimes,
even fear of incontinence may cause some people to cut down on fluids. Although
it's a great idea to keep water within reach, you do not need to rely only on
what you drink to meet your needs. What you eat provides about 20 percent of
total water intake. Many fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon and
tomatoes, are 90 percent or more water. For senior safety, it is recommended that some sort of
beverage be served with all meals; however, water is still your best bet!
remember that even though proper hydration is important for everyone, it is
critical as we get older. Check with your doctor or a registered dietitian if
you are concerned about your fluid intake or have health issues. He or she can
help you determine the amount of water that's right for you. It is always best
to be safe, not sorry.
Helpful Summer Home Safety Tips
Heat Stroke Risks Increase during Summer, Especially for Kids & Seniors
Keeping Your Cool This Summer – The Dangers of Heat-Related Illness
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