Summer is here and many vaccinated people are feeling safer and more confident, venturing forth to be with their families and friends after a long spell of social distancing due to the pandemic. My client, Aaron, was eager to host a 4th of July picnic for his family, whom he had not seen in months. They had all received vaccinations in anticipation of being together again. He had a big back yard, and he bought an inflatable pool for the grandkids.

“It sounds like a great idea,” I told him during one of our scheduled visits. “Will you have help setting everything up though?” Aaron was 83 and had trouble with his hearing and vision.

“My daughter is arranging it,” he said. “We’ll have hot dogs and hamburgers, beans, corn, and potato salad. Everyone is bringing something. And we’re going to rent a canopy tent so the adults can sit in the shade. I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone.”

What are your plans for the summer? Do you like outdoor activities? This is the time of year I remind seniors to stay well-hydrated and use sunscreen. Older adults are at increased risk of hyperthermia, which can happen in prolonged hot and humid weather. Hyperthermia occurs when the body’s heat-regulating mechanisms don’t work effectively. Besides older age, certain illnesses, and medications increase the risk of developing hyperthermia.

Signs of hyperthermia can include excessive sweating, fatigue, thirst, cramps in the legs, arms or abdomen, nausea and vomiting, and dizziness. Heatstroke is a severe form of hyperthermia caused by a significant rise in body temperature and dehydration. It can be fatal if not treated.

Skin cancer is another concern. Benign and malignant skin cancers are more common in older people, especially in individuals with lighter skin, blonde or red hair, blue or green eyes, and a large number of moles. Skin damage from the sun builds up over the years, and Aaron had spent many summers as a young man working outdoors. He’d had many sunburns in his lifetime and had rarely used sunscreen. After a scare with melanoma a few years earlier, he was careful now to use sunscreen and stay out of the sun.

It’s also important to protect your vision and wear sunglasses with protection against UVA and UVB rays. Even on cloudy days, ultraviolet radiation from the sun can damage your eyes.

Enjoy the warm weather and the outdoors, but take precautions for a safe and happy summer!

If you or someone in your family are facing aging challenges, please give us a call at 765-341-9295 or email us at Shannon@AgingLifeCareConsultants.com”. We’ll be happy to assist!