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Senior Summer Safety Tips

June 28, 2018

 

With summer approaching, Activity Directors are planning outdoor activities to take advantage of the sunshine and residents are eager to spend their leisure time outdoors. 

 

However, it’s important  activity professionals be prepared for the potential dangers warmer weather poses for our residents.

There is an increased risk of UTI’s due to dehydration, heat sickness, sensitivity to sunlight due to medication, as well as an increased susceptibility to heatstroke due to age and health. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the odds of developing skin cancer rise as you age.

 

KNOW THE SIGNS

 

 USDA.gov

 

What We Can Do:

  • Ensure programs have opportunities to offer cold beverages

  • Have “indoor alternative” activities

  • Give residents opportunities for breaks or to go back inside at some during your program

  • Be made aware of residents with sun-related sensitivities

  • Have plenty of sun screen (AARP suggests an SPF between 30 and 50 for seniors) available

  • Take note of the early signs of heat-related symptoms.

Although nursing has an active role in ensuring our senior’s safety, it is up to every department and team member to take preventive measures that keep our residents safe. Staff should be educated to lookout for signs of heat exhaustion and stroke advised by the CDC.


Check out My Activity Resources for lots of summer programs!

 

BE PREPARED

 

  • At the beginning of the season, make sure to check the air conditioning on your buses. You wouldn’t want to have a trip planned for a 90-degree day only to find out the morning of, that the air isn’t working. 

  • If you are planning an outdoor program, always ensure there are enough shaded areas for residents to lounge in.

  • If your away from your facility (outdoor picnic, local baseball game, etc) make sure to check ahead of time that there are designated shaded areas or offer opportunities for residents to be able to go indoors at points throughout the activity.

  • Also try to check the weather a day in advance to ensure the heat index and humidity aren’t dangerous.

  • Keep in mind that while residents want to spend time outdoors, make sure that it is not too much to the point in which they would be in danger.

 

MORE TIPS AND PREVENTATIVE MEASURES

  • Keep air condition on a cooler setting as much as possible.

  • Have residents drink more water than usual.

  • Keep cool cloths available during outdoor programs. Cloths kept in ice water would be great for residents whom are feeling warmer to put across their necks to help cool off.

  • Ensure residents are wearing looser fitting, light colored clothing as darker colors attract heat.

  • Do not schedule more strenuous activities such as sporting programs outdoors.

 

 

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