The United States Center For Disease Control (CDC) estimates that every year around 300 people in the U.S. die from heat related ailments. In addition thousands of American citizens suffer from dehydration, heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
Senior citizens are more susceptible to the effects of heat as their bodies return to normal slowly and their bodies cooling mechanism is not as efficient as younger people. Hence seniors should be well aware of the health problems related to summer heat and the preventive and safety steps that they should take to avoid these problems.
Seniors should take it slow in the summer, especially when it is hot. All outdoor activities should be planned for early mornings when it is cooler. As mush as possible, use the shaded areas under trees or covered porches. If possible air conditioning should be used when it is very hot. If air conditioning is not available at home seniors should go to public places like shopping malls, libraries, etc., that have air conditioning.
Proper ventilation is essential so that the temperature and humidity do not become very high. In places where there are no fans or air conditioning it may be dangerous if the temperature rises above 90 Â°F. Some seniors prefer to keep windows closed for security reasons even when cool breeze is blowing. This problem can be easily solved by installing safety latches for windows so that they cannot be opened from outside but will allow air to enter.