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Sherry Brown, Professional Organizer

Spring and Summer Hazards for the Elderly

Each season has a new set of hazards for aging individuals. Many of these dangerous situations can be avoided if the proper precautions are taken. Always be aware of the weather before going outdoors or traveling with a loved one.

Spring:

  • Rain – Rain can cause the grass along with other surfaces to become slippery. Be aware of the increased risk of slips and help your senior pick shoes with good traction to prevent falls. If your loved one will be driving during the rainy season, make sure that their vehicle has effective windshield wipers and tire tread.
  • Allergies – If an elderly family member has allergies, be sure to consult with their doctor before mixing allergy medicine with prescriptions. Ask their doctor to be specific about which allergy medications are okay to take or find out if they can write a prescription for one.

Summer:

  • Sunburn – Some medications can increase the effects of sun on the skin, causing seniors to burn faster. Ensure that your senior covers up with light clothing, hats, and high SPF sunscreen whenever outdoors. Try to keep track of time and don’t stay outside for long periods of time. If outside for an extended period of, remember to reapply sunscreen often. Another way to enjoy the warm weather is to go outside in the morning or evening hours rather than in the middle of the day when the sun is at its highest and more likely to burn.
  • Dehydration – Increased time spent in the sun can lead to dehydration. Be sure to have plenty of drinking water available during outdoor activities and while traveling in the summer months. Ensure that your loved ones are consistently drinking water as they can become dehydrated easily and may be unaware of their thirst.
  • Insects – When spending time outdoors in the evening and nighttime hours, apply insect repellent. The amount of exposed skin should also be limited by covering up with long sleeves and pants. Seniors should be especially cautious of mosquitoes if cases of West Nile have been reported in the area, as this virus can have a greater affect on the elderly.

 

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