While med alert systems are a great tool for seniors year-round, they can be crucial for staying safe and healthy during the summer. As it heats up outside, the warm weather also brings with it unique risks for active older adults. Knowing the risks and being prepared in case of an accident will give you the peace of mind necessary to take part in the activities you want to do this summer.
Heat-Related Medical Issues
Getting even a little too hot can lead to dehydration, which often causes dizziness and disorientation. Once you’ve reached this point, it may be difficult to get inside and out of the heat. A heatstroke can quickly follow and could be deadly if you can’t call for help right away. The best way to avoid heat-related issues is to stay hydrated, to stay indoors during the hottest part of the day, and to wear your medical alert pendant at all times.
While all seniors are at an increased risk for overheating, heat stress, and heatstroke, some are at an even greater risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that between 1999 and 2003, there were 3,442 heat-related deaths in the United States. Hyperthermia (abnormally high body temperature) was a contributing factor in 35 percent of these deaths, and 57 percent of the cases associated with hyperthermia had cardiovascular disease as an underlying cause. Not only can a weak heart reduce your body’s ability to keep you cool, but some medications you take can add to the effect.
Falls and Summer Fall Risks
You’ve been trapped inside all winter, and now that the weather is warm, you probably want to get outside. While you can control your fall risks inside to a certain degree, this isn’t always the case for your yard or other outdoor areas. It’s important to watch your step when you’re gardening, playing with your grandchildren, or even just going for a walk.
Holes and dips in the terrain, incline changes, and objects hidden by grass are all common summertime hazards. Be sure you pay careful attention when you’re walking outside this summer, and invest in a med alert system just in case.
The Availability of Help When You Need It Most
Your family and friends are also likely to be out more and traveling during the summer. They may not be able to check on you as frequently, which may mean that it could be a long time before help arrives if you do fall or suffer a medical emergency and don’t have a medical alert system.
In addition to increasing the likelihood that you could overheat or fall, hot weather can exacerbate current health issues. Because your heart has to work harder to keep you cool in the summer, the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions warns seniors with heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases that they’re at an increased risk during this time. If you have a major medical issue and can’t call for help, you could end up losing your independence.
A medical alert device calls for help with just the push of a button. While no one knows when or where an emergency will occur, some risks increase in summer. Investment in med alert systems buys peace of mind, because you know that the help you need is never more than a few minutes away.
If you enjoyed this article, you may also like our blog post on how to talk to mom or dad about a med alert system.