5 Tips for Senior Hydration and Staying Cool During Summer Heat

senior care naples fl

Written by Geena Graham

Did you know that seniors are at a higher risk for becoming dehydrated and overheated, especially during hot summer months? We have compiled a list of 5 tips to help seniors and caregivers stay hydrated and cool, so they can enjoy the summer in a healthy, safe way.

1. Stay Hydrated With Water

Your liquid intake plays a huge part in senior hydration and staying cool during the summer months. Staying hydrated is actually the most important thing a senior can do for their health because the older we get, the less water our bodies retain. Water is the key to keeping our bodies alive, and is essential for staying hydrated and cool.

Not everyone loves the taste of water though - it's not as flavorful as a juice or a soda after all - and that might be way seniors fall short of drinking enough H2O, especially during the summer months. But fruit infused water is a healthy and tasty alternatives to plain water. Making fruit infused water is a cheap, easy way to give your water a flavor and nutrient boost, and it requires very little effort. All you have to do is cut up some cucumbers, oranges, berries, or citrus, and then add it to a pitcher of water, and you have a delicious, flavorful beverage with healthy, natural sugars and nutrients, and lots of festive summer colors.

Find some fruit-infused water recipes here

2. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet can also help seniors stay hydrated. In fact, food accounts for 20 percent of a person’s daily water intake. According to the American Heart Association, all fruits and vegetables are beneficial for hydration; however, watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe pineapple and oranges are the fruits that have the highest water content, while iceberg lettuce, celery, green peppers, and cucumbers are the vegetables with the most water content.

3. Get a Personal Cooling Device

Handheld fans can be a great way to cool down on the go. Most of them are light weight, so seniors can hold them independently, and carry them around in their personal belongings with ease. Another option is a small clip-on fan. These are especially helpful to many seniors, because they can easily attach to things, such as a wheelchair or walker.

Another option to help seniors stay cool is a cooling towel, which stays cold for hours when water is added to them. They use an advanced hyper-absorbent cooling fabric, which is highly effective with fighting fatigue and dehydration in the heat.

4. Spend Less Time in the Sun

The older we become the more difficult it is for our bodies to adjust to high temperatures, which makes seniors more susceptible to overheating and heat stroke. According to the American Heart Association, heatstroke and heat exhaustion are two of the greatest risks for seniors during the summer months. One cause of this could be prescription drugs, which impair the body’s ability to regulate temperature and can prevent the body from sweating. Most seniors already start the day dehydrated due to medications and not drinking enough water, so it is important to remember this and to hydrate extra ahead of time if you plan to be in the sun. However, a sun-less day can be just as fun as a sunny one. Staying cool in the shade outside, or playing bingo or bridge with friends inside on the porch is a great way to keep from getting dehydrated while still enjoying a pretty summer day.

5. What You Wear Matters

Making sensible clothing choices during the summer is extremely important as we age. Choosing to wear layers and/or light colored cotton will help seniors stay cool during the summer months. Breathable fabrics are the best when dressing for the heat. Anything with buttons or a zip makes for easier removal when you are laying your clothing. Layering clothing is important when dressing for the summer months because you are always prepared, and can adjust your clothing to keep your body temperature neutral - it is best for seniors to avoid excessive heat and then immediately cooling down (i.e. going into a room with cold AC after being sweaty outside) because this can put seniors at risk for becoming sick.

If you or your loved one could use help to stay safe, comfortable, and active this summer, consider bringing a qualified care provider into your home. American In-Home Care always refers qualified, screened, care providers that are compassionate and ready to help. Contact us at 1-844-505-0004 to schedule your free in-home consultation to discuss which care options are right for you and your family.