Tips for a Healthy (but fun!) Sunny Season with Your Senior

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​​A caregiver cleans the porch while senior enjoys the day outside 

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We hope that we’re not the only ones feeling like the first half of 2016 has gone by in a blink! It’s hard to believe that half the year is gone and in another half our iced teas and summer salads will turn into hot chocolates and hearty soups. It’s officially summer – and as those temperatures continue to rise, so do the concerns about sun safety. The greater Toronto area has already had 8 official heat warnings this year, whereas 2014 had only 1 throughout the entire year. That is a huge difference and might make this next bit of information a little less shocking; the Canadian government is predicting that in the next 30 years, the number of extremely hot days in a year will more than double in certain parts of Canada. This means that sun safety and preventing heat-related illnesses is more important than ever.
Below are tips for staying healthy, as well as keeping entertained and active this summer:

  1. Enjoy fresh air and soak up some vitamin D

We can’t talk about sun exposure without first mentioning sunscreen. Actually, doctors and healthcare professionals recommend wearing sunscreen every single day, as UV rays can be quite harmful to our sensitive exterior. Elderly skin is very fragile, and you want to make sure you’re safeguarding your loved ones. Click here to read about some of the most commonly missed areas and be sure to apply sunscreen on all exposed skin.   

  1. Stay cool and keep hydrated 

A caregiver brings a beverage to senior who is enjoying the day outsideH2O – a very powerful compound. All living things depend on it. An important thing to remember is to remind your seniors to drink a glass of water at regular intervals during hot, hot days. In their article “5 Hot-Weather Bummers for Alzheimer’s Caregivers”, caring.com has highlighted problems with dementia patients and the summer – for example, they completely forget to keep hydrated.

  1. Enjoy healthy, light and refreshing meals

Think about chopping up some cucumbers, peppers, sugar-snap peas, or any other light and crunchy veggies and place them into small portions. Grapes, watermelon, peaches and other juicy fruits are perfect, healthy summer treats that will satisfy your senior’s sweet tooth. The Home Instead in Illinois put together some more useful tips for summer nutrition here.  

  1. Learn something new about another culture.

Did you know that in Toronto, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) has a free program for seniors with Alzheimer’s or other dementia? They do! The gallery initiated the program, called “Art in the Moment,” in conjunction with the Toronto Alzheimer’s Society. It allows older adults with dementia experience art and participate in reminiscing activities. Seniors and their CAREGivers, with a reservation, are taken on an hour-long guided tour throughout the gallery. Another great thing is that the gallery is air-conditioned, so it will be a comfortable summer adventure. Read more through our Facebook posting below!

https://www.facebook.com/Home.Instead.Mississauga.Etobicoke/posts/1194902980529579

We hope that you will stay safe and cool this summer. If you’re looking for even more material related to this content, read these informative articles entitled, “How the Sun Can Help us and Hurt Us” or “Summer Safety Advice for Seniors”. The Canadian government has also put together brochures full of summer safety advice for the elderly, for children, and for athletes.  

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