3 Super Useful Summer Tips for Seniors
Summer tips for seniors can be a practical reminder for staying safe, healthy, and happy as the temperatures soar. Whether you like to stay active, enjoy local tourist activities, or take a road trip, the following tips will help you enjoy the hotter months.
1) Hydrate (with personalized flavors)
You’ve probably heard this before: During the summer months, make sure you drink extra water. It’s sound advice, as the human body must stay hydrated to stay healthy. By the time you feel thirsty, you’re already in a state of dehydration.
Your fluid intake does not have to be extreme—just consistent. People often forget to take in fluids throughout the day while some don’t care for the taste of water.
You can create a simple plan for the type of fluids to take in and when. For example, decide how you like to drink water. Room temperature or cold? Whatever your personal preference, take some time to set up your water source (e.g., bottled water in the fridge or a filter pitcher on the counter).
Need a little flavor? Try adding a slice of lemon or cucumber or a few mint leaves to give your water a flavor lift.
Cold-brewed caffeine-free teas (such as lemongrass, peppermint, and ginger) will make water appealing and delicious. Drop a couple of tea bags in a pitcher of room-temperature or cold water and put it in the fridge overnight. By morning, you’ll have a refreshing beverage to enjoy throughout the day.
2) Stay indoors during the hottest hours (Mediterranean-style)
There are times of the day during summer when it’s better (and safer) to get away from the searing sun and high temperatures by staying indoors.
For Italians living in the Mediterranean region (e.g., Sardinia and Sicily), riposo (the middle-of-the-day hours spent at home) is a way to beat the summer heat!
People get up early to take care of errands and food preparation. Late morning to early afternoon, shops close, and everyone heads indoors to eat and relax where it’s cool and comfortable. As the sun lowers, people start moving about again, rested, and ready for the evening.
It may take a little planning, but creating your own riposo during the summer months will get you through the hottest hours of the day—safely. Additionally, you can enjoy a routine of working (and playing) in the cooler hours while relaxing indoors as temperatures soar.
3) Make your road trip safe, comfortable, and fun
If you’re looking to make a road trip during the summer months, you can set up your vehicle for safety, comfort, and fun.
Safety: Your car will work harder during the higher summer temperatures. Therefore, before you take to the open road, make sure your vehicle is in top working condition (that may include having your car serviced). Before you hit the road:
- Check all your car’s fluids: Top up your engine coolant and motor oil, as well as transmission, power steering, and brake fluids.
- Inspect tires: replace worn tires and check tire pressure levels.
- Test your car’s air conditioning: Efficient air conditioning is essential for summer driving. Have a certified mechanic check the refrigerant levels to ensure you stay cool throughout your travels.
- Update your car emergency kit: Even a well-maintained vehicle can experience problems. Ensure you have everything you need in the event of a breakdown: jumper cables, a working flashlight, and road flares or emergency warning triangles (and plenty of bottled water should you have to wait for assistance).
Comfort: You’ll spend many hours in your car. Create a plan for what you will need to keep you comfortable. Pack a small cooler with drinks and healthy snacks. Also, you can put heat-sensitive items in a cooler (with cold packs). During times when the car is parked, your sunscreen, lotions, lip balm, and medications will be cool and protected.
Additionally, make sure you have easy access to essential items. For example, keep your water bottle within reach. Before you leave, make sure it fits the cup holder securely (it shouldn’t wobble and be easy to remove and replace).
Fun: Load your smartphone with your favorite music, podcasts, and audiobooks. Depending on where you’re traveling, you may experience service interruptions (e.g., through mountain ranges or sparsely populated areas). Download what you’ll need before you leave.
Alternatively, if you use your car’s CD player for entertainment, you can stock up on music and audiobooks from your local library.
Whether using a smartphone or CD player, test the sound and system’s functions before you start driving.
Summer tips for seniors matter
The hotter months and higher temperatures can be a challenge at any age. However, older populations tend to be at greater risk for heat-related health complications. With some simple precautions, you can enjoy all the fantastic social and travel opportunities that summer brings.
The long summer days create the opportunity to revisit and assess your retirement strategy.
MySeniorHealthPlan.com’s Retirement Specialist Aaron can help you design or adjust your retirement plans.