Spring Safely into the New Season
Spring is finally here! The days are getting longer and the weather is warmer. Spring is a wonderful time of year, but it’s also a time when older adults need to be cautious about certain safety risks.
Here are some tips to help keep seniors safe during the spring season:
Protect skin from the sun: As the weather gets warmer, we tend to spend more time outdoors. Wear hats and clothing that cover the skin when outside and apply sunscreen with a high SPF to exposed skin to protect it from harmful UV rays.
Stay hydrated: With the warmer weather, it’s important to avoid dehydration. Older adults are at an increased risk of dehydration. Remember to get plenty of fluids. While there are some guidelines to how much water should be consumed every day, our bodies have a natural way of telling us when to drink—thirst. To keep the body properly hydrated, avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can increase dehydration. Ask your doctor if you are on any medications that could exacerbate dehydration.
Check the smoke alarm and fire extinguishers. Spring is a great time to check your smoke alarms and fire extinguishers! Some smoke alarms have a non-replaceable 10-year battery, and others require new batteries once a year. Familiarize yourself with the smoke alarms in your home and check to make sure alarms and extinguishers are not expired. Most are designed to last 10-12 years.
Be cautious on wet or uneven surfaces: Spring showers can create slippery conditions outdoors, so be cautious when walking on wet or uneven surfaces. Wear shoes with good traction to reduce the risk of slips and falls.
Watch out for allergens: Spring is allergy season, so people who suffer from allergies should take steps to reduce their exposure to allergens, such as pollen and dust. Keep windows closed, use air purifiers, and avoid outdoor activities when the pollen count is high.
Take precautions against spring storms: Spring is also the season for thunderstorms and tornadoes, and older adults are more prone to injury during natural disasters. Be prepared with an emergency kit, including flashlights, batteries, a radio, and nonperishable food and water.
Keep medications up to date: Spring clean your medicine cabinet! Now is a good time for older adults to review their medications. Check for expiration dates and prescriptions that should be refilled. This can help avoid any medication-related complications that could arise during the season.
With a few simple precautions and some awareness of the risks, older adults can enjoy all the benefits of this beautiful time of year. So let’s embrace the spring season with open arms, get outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine, but let’s do so safely. By taking care of ourselves and each other, we can make the most of this wonderful season and create happy memories that will last a lifetime.