If there is any mantra we need to repeat this summer it’s this one: drink more liquids.
A university study revealed that 80% of heat-related deaths were in people over the age of 60. We need to do everything we can to avoid dehydration when the weather is hot.
As we age, many of us don’t have the same body temperature regulation. Poor circulation and lack of thirst can make us vulnerable to the effects of heat. Of those, lack of thirst is the easiest to address, and drinking more water doesn’t need to be a chore. Find out from your doctor just how many ounces you need to drink in a day. Some medications, such as diuretics, might change how your body reacts to heat and dehydration. Ask whether you need an electrolyte-replacement drink for added potassium and sodium.
By the numbers: Buy several smaller water bottles and fill with water as many as you need each day to reach the required number of ounces. Keep them on the kitchen counter, where you’ll see them. Keep oranges, strawberries and watermelons handy, or make your own fruit popsicles.
Keep an eye on the TV news and weather. Know what temperatures and humidity are expected during the day, especially early afternoon. If you walk for exercise, try to go in the morning. Make a few calls and find out about any cooling stations near you, or airconditioned spaces such as a mall, if you don’t have air conditioning at home.
Keep the inside temperature as low as possible and close the drapes on the sunny side of the house. If you have air conditioning, keep it set at a comfortable temperature and leave it on.
Remember that you don’t need to wait until you’re thirsty to drink water.
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