With temperatures heating up across the nation, we’re all vying for a little fresh air and sunshine. Ready to venture into the great outdoors? Make sure loved ones are prepared with the following summer health tips and activities for the elderly.
Exercise and Outdoor Activities for Seniors
Don’t waste time playing games indoors with so much to explore outdoors. Not only does staying active help maintain a healthy lifestyle, but the sun generates vitamin D, a necessity for strong bones, muscles and mind. It’s also a perfect opportunity to enjoy new interactions — fresh faces and even animals are within reach.
Catch a Game
Many sports, both professional and local, enter their prime during the summer months. Grab some company and head over to the nearest ballpark to enjoy the great American pastime. Looking for a more hands-on activity? Golf is a great alternative due to its low-impact and low-risk commitment.
Cherry-Pick Your Cherries
Summer is the perfect season for ripe fruits and vegetables, so take advantage and do the picking by hand! Enjoy them fresh off the vine while spending time with loved ones and soaking up the sun. This is an easy way to get loved ones out of the house and to reap the benefits in more ways than one.
Get Behind the Camera
We spend a lot of our lives trying to capture the memories of our loved ones on camera. Instead of only snapping pictures while loved ones are visiting, take to the park and shoot whatever looks interesting and appealing — nature, animal-life or people. Those photos will serve as lasting memories and are pieces of art to be proud of!
Go on a Treasure Hunt
While sometimes spending time indoors with loved ones is the treasure, the feeling of the sun on one’s face and the enjoyment of a youthful activity can be gratifying, too. One great outdoor activity for seniors is walking through the park with a metal detector. Metal detectors are often available for renting near beaches and tourist attractions or are always available for purchase online. Another option is making up a list of things a group can spend time searching for nearby. A scavenger hunt not only gets seniors out-and-about, but it also utilizes critical thinking and memory skills, as well as allows for creativity.
Safety Tips for the Elderly
A healthy summer is a happy summer. While sunscreen is a must for people of any age who spend time outside, there are special considerations seniors and loved ones should pay attention to.
Overheating / Hyperthermia
The human body must maintain a stable internal temperature in order to function; this can range from 95 to 104°F among the general population. In elderly individuals, however, this temperature gap is even tighter, sometimes as narrow as two degrees. It’s important to ensure loved ones stay cool under the hot sun or while performing any exercise. Drinking plenty of water is the quickest and easiest way to regulate internal temperature when overheating becomes an issue.
Water is crucial to helping your body maintain its internal temperature and keeping vital organs functional. The hotter it is, the more water your body depends on and uses. Mild dehydration begins when the body loses a mere 2% of its total weight. Ensuring loved ones drink plenty of water during the summer will prevent symptoms like cardiac and renal difficulties. In seniors especially, these symptoms hit much harder and have permanent health effects.
Aging causes skin to lose some of its regenerative properties crucial to fighting the effects of sun exposure. Forty to 50% of Americans aged 65 or older will likely have at least one melanoma removed in their lifetime. A high SPF sunblock and loose, comfortable clothing will help block the rays and are easy sun safety tips to abide by. UV protected sunglasses and hats also safeguard against damage and slow the development of eye diseases such as cataracts.
Like humans, a variety of species enjoy the warmer weather. Mosquitos, ticks, ants and other varieties of insects and flies can leave small bites that grow to cause minor irritations, or left untreated, infections that spread throughout the body. More critically, certain insects can transmit serious diseases like malaria and the West Nile virus. These illnesses typically target immune systems and cause life-threatening fevers. When preparing for a nighttime ball game or scavenger hunt, bug repellant spray or candles and mosquito nets are great precautions.
The Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) and Home Health Aides (HHAs) at Granny NANNIES are understanding and specialize in providing companionship, mobility assistance and transportation services that keep seniors independent. They can also help sharpen social interaction skills and keep loved ones engaged in activities they enjoy. We carefully screen our CNAs and HHAs for not only the essential legal requirements, but also the kindness and compassion needed to care for others.
Founded in 1990, Granny NANNIES offers services that can be personalized to meet the requirements of any individual, regardless of age or need. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, we provide quality, trustworthy, reliable and affordable in-home care. For more information on how we can help you, call 800-316-2669.