Getting outdoors and enjoying the fresh air is a major part of summer. However, there are some precautions you need to take before beginning your adventure, especially if you’re a senior. The following tips can help keep your risks to a minimum and allow you the opportunity to make the most of the season.
Limit Exposure to Mosquitoes
The West Nile Virus is a mosquito transmitted disease that seriously affects individuals over the age of 65. Mostly spread via bite by an infected mosquito, it can cause flu-like symptoms to occur. Other serious ailments include meningitis and encephalitis. Seniors can take the necessary precautions to limit their exposure by dressing in long-sleeved shirts and pants, especially during the early morning and late night hours when mosquitoes are most active. Mosquitoes also rest in wooded and shaded areas. When it comes to significantly reducing your risk of getting bit by an infected mosquito, you’ll also want to wear an insect repellent that contains DEET if you’re going to spend a great deal of time outdoors.
Seniors are especially vulnerable to dehydration because they’re unable to retain water as they age. You may also have more difficulty adjusting to higher temperatures and humidity. To ensure that you’re staying properly hydrated during the summer season, you’ll want to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially if you’re walking, biking or hiking. Sweat replacement drinks can also be beneficial on hot, muggy days because they contain potassium and salt.
No matter what your age, sunscreen can help prevent sunburn, skin cancer and premature aging. Before you go out of the house, it’s best to slather on an SPF15 or higher to any exposed skin. You should also reapply it every two to three hours. Too much sun exposure can also affect the eyes of a senior. Wearing sunglasses can protect your vision and keep out any harmful UV rays. A hat can also protect the face and scalp if you go outside.
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