Summer is vacation time, and retired life is one long vacation. Retirees get to enjoy fun, adventure and relaxation all year long, but on Long Island, summer might be the very best time of year to enjoy everything the outdoors have to offer. But the hot weather of summer does create challenges, and older adults need to take precautions.
As we get older, our bodies change, and we become more sensitive to sun, humidity level and heat. Older adults need to be aware, so they can safely enjoy those precious summer days.
Here’s a list of tips for summer safety for seniors:
Drinking enough water is one of the most important summer safety tips there is.
Staying hydrated also keeps your energy up for activities like long walks through Long Island’s state parks. Heckscher State Park, Sunken Meadow State Park, Caleb Smith State Park, Connetquot, Valley Stream, Hempstead Lake … the list goes on and on!
Also, stay aware of signs that you or someone you’re with may be showing symptoms of dehydration, especially during outdoor activities. These include headache, dizziness, weakness and exhaustion. Keep in mind that some medications are diuretics, which can increase the risk of dehydration. So can consuming alcohol, so remember that important fact when you’re touring one of Long Island’s almost 60 vineyards, including Macari, Baiting Hollow Farm, Wölffer Estate and Lieb Cellars.
2) Use Sun Protection
Everyone needs to protect their skin from sunburn. And as we get older, our skin gets a bit thinner, causing sun exposure to have a greater effect. But staying safe from sun damage is easy. Start with a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and make sure it offers broad-spectrum protection, meaning it protects from both UVA and UVB rays. And don’t just apply. Reapply, and reapply again.
Get protected and stay protected, especially if you’re enjoying one of the many gorgeous beaches, which is one of the best things to do on Long Island in the summer. There’s Fire Island National Seashore, with its beautiful lighthouse, Long Beach, with its enormous size and famous boardwalk, the beachfront at Robert Moses State Park, and Jones Beach, where you can catch an outdoor concert.
You can also wear clothing that offers sun protection. Light, comfortable, loose-fitting outfits offer an SPF of their own. Just be aware that you can still get sun exposure through a light fabric, so sun protection from clothing is not absolute. And summer safety for seniors can include a stylish sun hat!
3) Stay Protected from the Heat
With the summer sun comes summer heat. And when you’re enjoying outdoor activities in the heat, you must be careful. Wearing light clothing is a great place to start. Again, summer safety for seniors starts with fun and trendy fashion, especially if you’re strolling through Old Westbury Gardens, Planting Fields Arboretum, or the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. But the consequences of too much heat exposure are anything but fun.
Heat exhaustion can be a serious problem that can lead to health risks. The signs to look out for include excessive sweating, or no sweating due to dehydration, as well as muscle cramps, tiredness, dizziness, headache, nausea and other symptoms. If you or someone you’re with starts to exhibit any of these symptoms, move indoors or to a shaded spot immediately. Drink plenty of cool fluids, rest in a spot that’s safe from a fall should someone pass out, and be ready to call emergency services if their condition doesn’t improve quickly, or especially if it worsens.
A step past heat exhaustion is heat stroke. This is when a person’s body temperature reaches at least 1040, which can be extremely dangerous. The CDC states that excessive heat causes over 600 deaths per year in the U.S, so it’s important to know the symptoms, and have a plan to avoid them.
One of the simplest ways to stay safe from excessive heat is to know when to take breaks indoors. Schedule plenty of air-conditioned stops throughout your day. Know where these stops can be found, and always have your phone on you. The best summer safety tip you should remember is to rest, cool off and hydrate, all before you need to.
The residents at Jefferson’s Ferry on Long Island are surrounded by beautiful, fascinating attractions, and summertime just might be the best season to take advantage of our great location. If you make a plan, stay safe and pay attention to how you’re feeling, you can get out there and enjoy them all.
Contact us to learn more about the wonderful lifestyle you can enjoy at Jefferson’s Ferry on Long Island.