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10 Tips for Seniors to Cool It this Summer Season and Beyond

Living in Florida, we are accustomed to extremely warm weather, but according to, our world is gradually getting even hotter as the years go by.

“The 10 warmest years in the historical record have all occurred since 2010. 2022 was the sixth-warmest year on record, based on NOAA’s (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s) temperature data. The 2022 surface temperature (of the earth) was 1.55 degrees Fahrenheit (0.86 degrees Celsius) warmer than the 20th-century average of 57.0 degrees F (13.9 degrees Celsius) and 1.90 degrees F (1.06 degrees Celsius) warmer than the pre-industrial period (1880-1900).”

Recent news reports confirm that climate change is occurring, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. The extreme heat wave we experienced over the last few weeks is only the beginning of what will likely escalate in the coming years.

The University of Florida published data about heat-related deaths from 2010-2020, that showed that 27% of heat-related deaths in Florida occurred among people aged 65 and older, which was the highest rate among 215 cases. With such an alarmingly high percentage of heat-related fatalities among aging adults in Florida, I think it’s important to share 10 tips for seniors to cool it this summer season and beyond.

  1. Stay Hydrated. This goes for anyone of any age, but most importantly for seniors and the elderly. It’s been my experience that aging adults don’t typically drink enough water as it is, but it’s especially critical since seniors are more likely to be dehydrated, because their bodies are unable to conserve as much water as they used to, and they don’t feel as thirsty. It is recommended seniors drink eight glasses of water or sports drinks each day and stay away from caffeinated and alcoholic beverages.
  2. Talk to Doctor or Pharmacist. Most seniors take medications for any number of ailments or conditions, so be sure to consult a doctor or pharmacist to make sure spending time in the sun and heat will not cause negative reactions with prescribed meds, and gain clearance to participate in the outdoor activities.
  3. Wear Proper Clothing. Grandma may pull on her polyester slacks every day, but she should select clothing that is lightweight, light-colored, and loose fitting, preferably made from cotton or other natural fabrics. Wide-brimmed hats are also a good idea to shade the face, neck and shoulders.
  4. Slather Sunscreen. Seniors who know they will be out in the hot sun should always liberally apply broad-spectrum sunscreen that blocks UVA and UVB rays, SPF 30 or greater, a minimum of 15-20 minutes before going outdoors. If plans include water fun, bring with to reapply frequently to stay covered.
  5. Protect Your Peepers. Most seniors have some level of vision impairment anyway, but the sun’s dangerous rays can make vision even worse. Always wear sunglasses– prescription or otherwise – that protect your eyes from those dangerous rays.
  6. Stay Indoors During Crunch Times. Schedule tee times, water aerobics, walks, or other outdoor activities earlier in the morning, before 10:00 am, or during the evenings after the sun starts to set, and the heat of the sun doesn’t feel as hot. Here on the West Coast, evening times may be a bit later, depending upon where your activity is located.
  7. Stay Aware of Heat Stroke. Heat stroke can become fatal if not caught in time. Always be aware of the signs of heat stroke which include high body temperature, dizziness, nausea, headache, and confusion. If these symptoms occur, seek immediate medical attention.
  8. Cool-off. Lukewarm or tepid baths, sponge baths, or showers can help seniors cool off. If those are not viable options, consider using wet washcloths, towels, or store-bought “Frog Togs” dampened by cool water and applied to the neck, wrists, ankles, and armpits.
  9. Communicate with Family or Neighbors. If plans include an extended period of time outside, seniors should make sure a caregiver, family member or neighbor knows about the activity. That way, a welfare check, or courtesy call can be scheduled to ensure the senior doesn’t get overheated and makes it back indoors, safe and sound.
  10. Air Conditioning Rules. I’ve been without air conditioning while living in Florida, and it is not a pleasant experience, trust me. If you can stay indoors in air-conditioned spaces, do so. If you do not have air conditioning, use fans to keep air circulating, or go someplace with air conditioning: a mall where you can window shop; a library for peaceful reading, a restaurant for an inexpensive senior meal; a movie theater for the latest box office hit; or maybe visit a friend or family member. (Remember: The federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps adults 65 and older who have limited incomes cover the cost of air conditioners and utility bills. To reach Florida’s LIHEAP program, visit their website at the link provided or call 1-866-762-2237.)

I hope these 10 tips for seniors to cool it are helpful to you and/or aging loved ones in your life. None of us want to hear the tragic news of a special elderly adult perishing because of the heat!

The compassionate caregivers at Home Helpers® can help seniors with a variety of in-home care services, including companionship, safe transportation assistance to indoor or outdoor activities and events; assistance with shopping and healthy meal preparation, and so much more. I am happy to offer a FREE Consultation to discuss ways we can make life easier and safer for seniors to improve their overall quality of life during the summertime and year-round!

We, at Home Helpers® Clearwater, are honored to have been ranked among the Home Care Pulse Top 100 Leaders in Experience for home care providers in 2023 and to have received the Best of Home Care® Provider of Choice Award 2023, and the Best of Home Care® Employer of Choice Award 2023.

Home Helpers® proudly serves male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson, and surrounding areas. Home Helpers®…we are Making Life Easier℠ 727.942.2539


University of Florida