Posts Tagged: older adults

Ten COVID Scams Older Adults are Falling for Right Now

Across the country, federal and local law enforcement agencies are warning older adults about COVID-19 scams and requesting personal information or making false promises about COVID-19 cures and test kits.

Corewood wants to make you aware of these coronavirus scams. We also want you to know that experts believe the number of new schemes will only increase over the coming months. Some of the most common scams include:

  • Individuals selling treatments for COVID-19 vaccine, cure, or insurance.
  • Online sales of high demand medical supplies such as N 90 or N95 masks.
  • Phishing calls, text messages, or emails from national or global health authorities asking for personal and/or financial information.
  • Calls or emails requesting contributions for obscure COVID-19 treatments.
  • Appeals for donations for individuals affected by COVID-19.
  • Unofficial COVID-19 apps and downloads that can potentially compromise a person’s computer or phone with malware.
  • Financial planners alleging they have “inside information” to prevent, detect, or cure COVID-19.
  • Scammers calling as contact tracers claiming the individual has been exposed to COVID-19 and needs to act quickly. They then request the person’s social security numbers, insurance information, or advanced payment for bogus COVID-19 tests.
  • Calls claiming to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA), claiming that benefits will be interrupted unless the caller provides their social security or bank account number.
  • Scammers impersonating bank employees who claim that banks are falsely limiting access to funds or alleging security issues with bank deposits.

Top TEN Tips for Avoiding COVID-19 Scams:

  • Discount claims about COVID-19 vaccine, cure, or treatment.If there is a medical discovery, it wouldn’t be reported through unsolicited emails or online ads.
  • Depend on official sources for current information on COVID-19.Review your state’s health department websites, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the World Health Organization for the latest developments.
  • Know that the safest place for your money is in the bank—your funds are physically secure and federally insured, something you don’t have when your money is outside the banking system.
  • Be on guard for phishing scams.  Do not click on links, pop-up screens, or open any attachments from sources you don’t know. NEVER share your password, account number, or PIN with anyone.
  • Investigate before donating. Be circumspect about any individual, charity, or business requesting COVID-19-related donations in cash, by wire transfer, gift card, or through the mail.
  • Keep your computers and mobile devices up to date. Using the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are your best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats. Turn on automatic updates to get the newest fixes.
  • Avoid bogus website links. Hackers embed malicious links into devices by tricking you into downloading malware or route users to bogus websites. Fraudulent links are often disguised by simple changes in the URL, such as www.ABC-Bank.com vs. ABC_Bank.com.
  • Enable multi-factor authentication for critical financial accounts. Multi-factor authentication is a second step to verify who you are. This often means you will receive a text message to verify your status before gaining access to a site.
  • There is a high potential for fraud presently. Be leery of any company claiming the ability to prevent, detect, or cure coronavirus.
  • Help others by reporting coronavirus scams. Contact the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov to report suspected or confirmed scams. The Federal Trade Commission also provides an updated list of the latest coronavirus scams at ftc.gov/coronavirus.

Have questions? Feel free to contact Mary Ann Buckley, Director of Care Management, at maryann@corewoodcare.com. We’re here to help.

Is it time to get a vaccination?

2020 has brought us a wider variety of topics of conversation. 

Case in point! While having a social distancing get-together with 2 of my friends in a parking lot, one friend asked if we were up to date on our vaccines. She showed us that she got the flu shot in one arm and pneumonia shot in the other arm. My other friend had the flu shot and shingles shot already. We are all in our 60’s and I didn’t expect this to be a hot topic to discuss, but it was informative and interesting. 

We all seem to have the flu shot on our minds, you drive by grocery stores, pharmacies and signs are posted that welcome you in get the shot. Turn on the TV and you can hear the warnings on the news; urging us all to get the flu shot this winter.  We are cautioned on ways to protect ourselves from not only the flu but also Covid-19. What we do know is that we need to be up to date on medical recommendations and check in with our own Physicians. 

What my friends and I realized: you are never too old to get vaccinated. While we kept up to date on our children’s vaccinations, now we must keep up to date on our own.

The top 5 vaccinations recommended for adults by the CDC: 1. Annual flu 2. Pneumonia 3. Tetanus booster 4. Shingles and 5. Hepatitis A and B. The best advice is to speak with your own Primary Care Physician to discuss these vaccinations and follow their recommendations.

As we age, our immune system which helps us fight illnesses does not work as well as it used to when we were younger. We can control how we live our life: eat healthy foods, get regular exercise, get a good night’s sleep, and decrease our stress level to strengthen your immune system. Your Primary Care Physician will be able to recommend the best options for the dose and timing of these vaccinations based on your health history.

Vaccinations not only benefit our personal health, but it benefits our family members and other people in our lives. Keeping ourselves healthy and reducing exposure of illness to those we care about is important to all of us. Doing our part to reduce doctor office visits, hospital admissions, out-of-pocket medical costs and time away from family is key in 2020.

Costs of vaccinations? Most health insurances cover these preventive measures; be sure to check in with your specific insurance provider to find out.  

Stay healthy by speaking with your health care provider about vaccinations and add this topic to your list of great topics of 2020.  

Care Manager Success Story

Years ago, we were honored to help a woman decide a move from her home into a senior living community where her sister lived. The older sister was unrelenting in telling her younger sister to move to her community and as soon as possible. She told me it was reminiscent of childhood with her older sister bossing her around.

This situation was causing a rift in the sister’s relationship, and they both were stressed. The sisters went to the same Physician who learned of the disagreement from each sister’s viewpoint. He recommended a Care Manager to help the younger sister choose a senior community based on her desires, needs, and budget.

The Care Manager met with her and reviewed all her preferences for her ideal housing type to meet her needs now and in the future. She always visited her sister and enjoyed her community but was not sure it was the one for her.

The Care Manager identified three communities that met the younger sister’s preferences, and they toured all three with an open mind. They compared each community, even making a pro and con list, and discussed the long and short-term advantages.

In the end, the younger sister chose the senior community where her older sister lived, but it was only after she had the time to look at her options and make a decision that was best for her. She felt confident that the move was the right one for her and not what her older sister wanted her to make.

At times like this, a Care Manager can provide professional, impartial guidance and options to consider. The Care Manager also assisted the younger sister with all of the steps required to sell her home, downsize, pack/move, and settle into her new home at the senior community on a different floor than her older sister.

New to Care Management? How a Care Manager Works with Clients and their Families

Corewood’s Care Management team works with clients and their families on a wide variety of issues, health conditions, and family dynamics. You may not know about all we do, so please let me provide a brief overview of the most noteworthy tasks we undertake.

Determining Where an Older Adult Should Live

Every family’s situation is different. Some older adult clients are temporarily immobilized due to a fall or hospitalization, or one spouse has a condition that will worsen over time, such as Alzheimer’s. Can the spouse or caregiver help with bathing and dressing? Does the older adult need constant supervision or someone to check in on them occasionally?  The answers to all of these questions – and many more – will need to be taken into consideration when deciding where an older adult will live. Care Managers are trained to look for warning signs to determine if an older adult is safe living at home alone. Whether or not an older adult remains at home, there are concerns that the Care Manager will review to ensure safety.

  • Making a Home Safe – If an older adult is going to remain in at home, a Care Manager can recommend modifications to make the home safer.
  • Finding Senior Housing – If an older adult can no longer live independently, a Care Manager can assist with a move to a senior housing facility, such as assisted living or CCRC. Throughout the process, a Care Manager will evaluate a community based on the level of care a person needs now and in the future as well as consider their lifestyle.

Covering Your Legal Bases

If you, your spouse, or your parent were suddenly incapacitated, who has the legal authority to act on their behalf? A Care Manager works with older adults and their families to avoid legal red tape and make sure older adults have the right legal documents in place. They will recommend and work with an attorney to be sure there is a power of attorney, advance care directives, a will, and, if needed, guardianship.

Organizing Finances

Would you know what to do if you suddenly had to take over managing money and paying bills for your spouse or parents? Care Managers work with older adults and their families to be sure trusted individuals know where the essential paperwork is kept and how to access funds if need be. Care Managers also work with older adults to review long-term care insurance to help cover the cost for care as well as help them determine their eligibility for Medicare, Medicaid, or Veteran’s Assistance.

Managing Medical Care

Care Managers are often first called when there is a medical crisis. Care Managers are older adult’s front-line advocates who know the medical system, know the older adult, and can help provide the best care. Before a crisis occurs, a Care Manager knows an older adult’s full medical history, record all of the prescription medications, and have attended doctor visits with an older adult in the past. They know how to ask questions and bring up concerns with a doctor and can summarize and take notes of the encounter to be discussed afterward with all interested parties.

Talking About the Future

When an older adult is ill, plans for the future must be made. Holding a family meeting helps make sure everyone is informed and on the same page. Care Managers are often called upon to facilitate these difficult conversations that must take place. They work to ensure an open, honest conversation but are also prepared for resistance. The goal is to determine the older adult’s current needs, limitations, and concerns, and let them state their wishes for the future.

Coping with the Reality of Caregiving

The emotional and physical health of the lead caregiver is always a top concern for the Care Manager. They work to prevent burnout and isolation as well as provide relief time for the caregiver. A Care Manager may coordinate coverage so that the lead caregiver can get out to dinner, a movie, or a walk in the fresh air. Without such relief, the physical and mental toll can be heavy on the lead caregiver.

Care Managers are trained professionals who work with older adults to find support and resources to make their daily life more comfortable. They are especially helpful when family members live far apart because, as we age, it is imperative to have supporting eyes and ears available locally.

COVID 19 has shown that supporting an older adult is not a process that can be managed long-distance, even as in-touch as we are with cell phones, text messaging, and Zoom conferences. A relationship with a Care Manager can allow a spouse or children of an older adult to be the spouse or the children, while someone else manages the situation.

When a spouse or daughter is providing hands-on care, the quality time they have to be there emotionally for their spouse or parent is limited. A Care Manager can handle the difficult interpersonal issues, address the immediate problem, remain connected once the crisis passes, and get back involved as the situation requires it.

Preparing for a Pandemic and a Future Wave This Winter

Officials at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have warned that this fall we will most likely experience a second wave of COVID-19. Many health officials are suggesting that Americans prepare over the summer for the potential of widespread illness and more stay-at-home orders.

In case of an outbreak, what can older adults do to protect themselves and their families?

Here are recommendations for how to prepare now to be ready for another outbreak.

1.    What should I buy now to prepare?

The US Department of Homeland Security, before a pandemic strikes, store a two-week supply of water and food, as well as over-the-counter medications you tend to take.

Items to consider stocking up on for your pantry:

  1. Canned soup, vegetables, fruit
  2. Crackers, snacks
  3. Cereal/oatmeal
  4. Hand soap
  5. Paper towels
  6. Kleenex
  7. Lysol, Clorox wipes, laundry detergent
  8. Toilet paper: this goes without saying, right?
  9. Disposable gloves
  • Chocolate: This is my favorite, as a staple and a smile maker.

2.    What should I do about groceries if I can’t or should not go out this fall?

Many online grocery options have been overwhelmed during the recent COVID 19 pandemic. Nevertheless, many of these online options are gearing up on supplies, workers, and delivery options in preparedness for the fall. Consider joining and using the service now while demand eases off, so when ordering online becomes more popular again, you are already in the queue.

Some online shopping options to look into include:

  1. Peapod
  2. Fresh Direct
  3. Shipt
  4. Boxed
  5. Instacart
  6. Thrive Market
  7. Instacart
  8. Walmart Online Grocery Delivery
  9. Target
  10. Whole Foods

Another option to look into for grocery delivery is your local senior Village. A Village is a neighborhood-based nonprofit membership organization supported by volunteers that work to keep older adults living safely, comfortably, and act in their own homes. Some Villages are providing once weekly grocery delivery for full-time members. To learn more contact your local Village Network.

3.    What should I have in my medicine cabinet?

Before a pandemic, it is recommended to periodically check your regular prescription drugs to ensure you have a continuous supply in your home if needed.

Some additional suggestions you may want to consider obtaining, in consultation with your Primary Care Physician, include:

  • A list of all your medications, vitamins, supplements: keep this current
  • Thermometer: for your use, guest use, and/or caregiver.
  • Check with your doctor to see if you should have: Pulse Oximeter, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, throat lozenge, cough medicine, Pedialyte/Gatorade
  • First aid kit: band-aids, gauze pads, hydrocortisone, tweezers, nail clippers, q-tips. If you have been worried like me, you may be picking at your nails/have not been able to get out for a manicure.

 4.    What documents should I be sure to have access to if I need to go to the hospital?

We have learned that this virus has changed the way we had been living our life. Emergency rooms and hospitals have always welcomed family members and visitors to assist their patients in the healing and recovery of illness and surgery. That has not been an option with COVD-19. You will be alone in these settings without direct contact and touch with those you care for and about.

Lists/Documents to have in one place:

  1. Power of Attorney: make copies
  2. Advance Directive/Living Will
  3. Medication list: yes, I have it twice because it is that important
  4. List of phone numbers: Emergency Contact, Family members, Physicians, Neighbor
  5. Medical history, current diagnosis, past diagnosis, surgeries, allergies to food/ medications
  6. Copy of insurance cards: front and back
  7. Copy of Photo ID
  8. MOLST form if you have one
  9. Long term care policy information (if you have one)  

What to leave behind:

  1. Wedding rings
  2. All jewelry
  3. Watches
  4. Wallet and money

What to take:

  1. Glasses
  2. Hearing aids and batteries
  3. Dentures
  4. All documents listed below

5.    Stay informed:

If you have more questions about the Novel Coronavirus, stay up to date on the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov

Experts agree that the most important thing you can do is not panic and stay informed.

It’s important now to plan and have a conversation with your family and/or the important people in your life about what you want to happen if you contract COVD-19. This will benefit not only you, but those close to you, and all the medical staff who will be taking care of you.

Meditation for Older Adults

For many families and their loved ones, COVID-19 has not only brought on fears of health, safety, and physical wellbeing but also has negatively impacted current living arrangements and relationships among families and loved ones. For older adults, living alone has become even more burdensome as social visits, fitness and exercise, physical therapy visits, and limitations to healthy food options have been limited if not non-existent. Families that have taken on caregiving duties for their loved ones have been experiencing increased anxiety, tension, and a decline in personal health. Meditation during this time has become more important for older adults, their families, and caregivers during this time.

Research supports the many benefits meditation can bring. Meditation can help memory, cognitive abilities, anxiety, stress, loneliness, depression, circulation, and digestion to name a few. The website U.S. News Health section supports these benefits. You can visit the website here U.S. News: Health

Below are a few tips for first-time meditators and beginners as well as different meditation techniques to try. Meditation can be an activity done at home alone or even virtually with your loved one. Start slow, 5 minutes, and build your way up to 15 minutes a day. The more you practice the easier meditation will become and the more beneficial it will be to your overall health.

The Basics

  1. Schedule 5 to 15 minutes of your day when you will not be distracted by others, phone calls, or other distracting noises. Think of meditation as a “daily vitamin” that you need to take for your health and let others in your household know you are going to meditate and cannot be bothered at this time. It is important for others in your household to appreciate and understand this time is important for you.
  2. Get comfortable. Either lay down or sit where your body feels relaxed. You do not need to be in the quintessential meditation poses if your body feels relaxed and comfortable then you are ready for meditation.
  3. Close your eyes and breathe! Breathe in deeply through your nostrils, filling your stomach with air, to the count of four. If able, hold for a count of four and then release your breath through your mouth to the count of 8. This may take some time to work up to. The idea of meditation is to clear your mind. Focusing on this breathing technique prevents any daydreaming and wandering of thought. Again, the more you practice meditation the more you can clear your mind easily and prevent your thoughts from wandering. Do not be frustrated with many different thoughts coming and going and the complete ability to stop them. This is natural. Just go back to focusing on your breathing and the repetition of the breathing technique
  4. Slowly open your eyes after your meditation has ended. It is also important to slowly move your body from the position you are in. Like waking from a deep night’s rest, let your body adjust back to the external stimulus.

Types of Meditation

Here are a few types of techniques and ways to meditate.

  1. Mindfulness Meditation

This relates to being present in your current situation. This type of meditation helps you feel grounded and secure in your current situation. Overthinking, worrying about the future, fears of the future, and appreciation of where we are and what we have is a focus of this meditation.

  1. Meditation for Anxiety

Imagery and guided meditation are very helpful for anxiety and stress. A trained instructor guides you in a calm voice on how to breathe and an imaginative situation to envision. Through their words and instruction, you can follow along and feel relaxed and at ease at the end of the meditation session.

  1. Meditation for Sleep

We are all aware of the physical and mental benefits of a good night’s sleep. Still, many of us can attest to needing more sleep and constantly not receiving enough. Personally, I have found that meditation, whereas I am waking 2-3 times throughout the night, is the best way to get back to sleep. I do this with Body Scan meditation techniques. First, I take 3-7 deep breaths using the breathing technique I mentioned above. Second, I start envisioning my feet and toes. Internally I tell my toes to relax. Sometimes I will clench and then relax. I then proceed with every body part I think of, moving slowly from my feet to my legs, from my torso to my neck, and so on. Each body part and area I tell to relax and envision these parts as being weightless. Chakra meditation puts these parts of the body into zones that you can also focus on through meditation. With the Body Scan technique, I am usually fast asleep by the time I reach my head.

By starting with 5 minutes a day and incorporating meditation into your daily schedule, you will be providing the many benefits stated above to not only yourself but the ones you love and care for as well. Meditation truly is a win-win!

Halloween Activities for Older Adults

Halloween isn’t just for kids. It’s a great excuse for seniors to dress up, do some spooky crafts, and, of course, eat goodies. Here are five activities your senior loved ones can enjoy:

  1. Movie Nights.

What’s Halloween without a spooky movie? Here are some of our favorites that are fun for all ages:

  • Hocus Pocus: a light-hearted comedy about witches seeking revenge, featuring Bette Midler.
  • Casper: based on the comic book character, this movie is about a ghost who wants to make friends.
  • The Witches: a humorous movie about outsmarting an evil witch, played by Angelica Houston, and her plan to turn all children into mice.
  1. Spooky Photos

Photo props are great for creating fun memories. Pull together old clothes and accessories or create your props using craft sticks and paper. Use them at a Halloween family gathering and take lots of photos to cherish for years to come. 

  1. Halloween Snacks

There are a lot of other snacks to enjoy apart from the candy. For a senior-friendly take on candy apples, make or buy caramel apple dip and serve with sliced apples. Create a sweet and salty snack by mixing candy corn with either popcorn or peanuts. 

  1. Make a Mask

There is no need for a full costume when seniors can be just as festive in a simple mask. It’s easy to make your own with a plain masquerade mask and craft supplies like feathers, rhinestones, and glitter. Have your senior parent wear the mask on Halloween night to surprise their grandkids or unexpecting trick-or-treaters.

  1. Pumpkin Games

You can set up several games using pumpkins, like Pumpkin Knock Down game. Another pumpkin game could be guessing the pumpkin’s weight. Award the winners with great prizes.

  1. Halloween Trivia

You can educate people with fun facts about Halloween. This could be a movie trivia test or a general trivia but make the contest interesting and challenging.

Tell your guests the plot line of a famous horror movie. Keep in mind that the movie must be relevant to the senior generation. Using only hints from the plot, let the guests guess the name of the movie. Keep score of the correct answers.

  1. Attend a Costume Party

Choosing a Halloween costume can be fun and wearing it at a costume party can be even more exciting. Attending parties is also a great way for seniors to increase social interaction which benefits their health. It also provides a sense of belonging and increases self-esteem.

  1. Making Cards

Seniors can express their talent by making unique Halloween cards. This can help them connect with friends and family and keep them engaged.

  1. Prepare for Halloween Trick-or-Treaters

You’ll probably be handing out a lot of treats to children during their trick-or-treating sessions. It’s important to prepare for this beforehand. You can make pumpkin pouch goody bags, decorate your front door to look more welcoming, and perhaps make a mixed bag of candy, as well. Get creative!

  1. Enjoy the Fresh Air and Nature

Fall is a great time to enjoy nature. Breathe in the fresh air, admire the colors on display and go for a walk. You can do any of the following:

  • Crack open a window to enjoy the fresh air
  • Relax in the backyard
  • Go for a walk through the local park
  • Stroll in your neighborhood
  • Take your pet out for a walk

Making festive treats, engaging in games, hosting a party, or taking your grandkid trick-or-treating are just some more ideas about what an older person can do during Halloween. There’s no need to feel restricted by your age. Enjoy the occasion to the best of your ability by doing any of the above-mentioned activities.

Halloween is great for kids, but seniors can have some fun with it, too. 

Fall Prevention Awareness Week

Among older adults, falling is the leading cause of trauma, injury, or even death. Falls can take a toll on older adults’ quality of life and independence.

Fall Prevention Awareness Week September 23rd – 29th.

We’ll examine, the seriousness of falls along with ways to reduce the risk of falling.

While age increases the risk of falling, other factors such as chronic disease and vision loss also contribute to falls. Below are several ways of preventing or minimizing the risk of falling.

  1. Regular Exercise and Activity

Regular exercise and activity help promote muscle strength and balance, thus lessening the risk of falling.  It’s also good for overall physical and mental health.

  1. Alarm Systems

There are several alarm systems available for seniors and their caretakers which can be used in case of a fall. A monitor  can be worn or installed  in the home, making it easier to contact emergency services and receive help quickly

  1. Voice Commands for Smart Hubs

Voice control through home automation may also be beneficial to older adults. Smart hubs compile all the smart devices in your home and allow you to control them with your voice from a single hub. This device can reduce the number of times an older adult walks up and down stairs or around the home unnecessarily, resulting in a reduced risk of falling.                      

  1. Stairlifts

For some older adults, a stairlift is a good investment. Less strength in muscles means climbing stairs can be dangerous. Stairlifts allow seniors to ascend and descend flights of stairs without help or difficulty.

  1. Programmable Smart Lights

Lighting is important for preventing falls by being both efficient and convenient. With smart lights, it’s easy to remotely control the brightness of a room or walkways outside the home. Users can program lights to turn on when they walk into a room which is very important in preventing falls, especially for visually impaired adults.

  1. Optimum Health

Identifying and treating health risk factors is important, including treating blood pressure, vitamin D and calcium supplementation, and treating visual impairment. Exercises and balance training can help with these conditions.

There’s no doubt that aging increases the risk of falls, but that doesn’t mean older adults shouldn’t and can’t take precautionary measures to minimize their risk.

Summer Safety Tips for Older Adults

Summertime is a time for fun and leisure; but for seniors, the heat and sun can be dangerous without proper precautions. Many older adults have conditions such as asthma, thyroid disease, and high blood pressure or heart problems that require some preparations to avoid overexposure to the sun. Here are some great tips that aging adults can use to make sure they have a fun and safe summer.

  1. Stay Hydrated

Seniors are more susceptible to dehydration than younger people because they lose their ability to conserve water as they age. They can also become less aware of their thirst and have difficulty adjusting to temperature changes. So it’s important to drink water often. Aim to have about 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. Try to avoid caffeine and alcohol or anything that could dehydrate your system.

  1. Apply Sunscreen & Wear a Hat

Before going outside, apply sunscreen and put on a hat. Seniors especially need extra sun protection to help keep them healthy. It’s also a good idea to gently remind loved ones about re-applying sunscreen every few hours.

  1. Wear Loose Fitting Clothes

As a general rule, the best fabrics for warm weather are lightweight and made from natural materials such as cotton or linen. Natural fabrics offer more comfort than synthetic fibers. Stock your summer wardrobe with light-colored and loose-fitting clothes to help feel cooler and more comfortable.

  1. Protect your Eyes

Vision loss can be common among seniors, and too much exposure to the sun can irritate eyes and cause further damage. Wearing sunglasses can protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and preserve your vision. Sunglasses can also slow the development of wrinkles around your eyes, delay the onset of cataracts, protect against glaucoma-related light sensitivity, and shield you from distracting glare while you drive.

  1. Apply Bug Spray

Seniors are particularly prone to West Nile Virus and encephalitis. If you live in areas where there are a lot of mosquitoes and where West Nile Virus is present, and if you spend a lot of time outdoors (particularly at night), use mosquito repellent to help reduce the risk of being bitten by a mosquito carrying this virus.

  1. Exercise Smart

When the temperature goes up in the summer months, exercising outside can become challenging. If you enjoy outdoor activities, such as walking or gardening, make sure to wear the proper clothing and protective gear. Try to avoid exercising outside in the early afternoon. It’s usually the hottest between noon and 3 p.m. It’s also important to keep track of time. Don’t stay out for long periods and make sure to drink even more water than usual when exercising.

  1. Keep Emergency Numbers

Everyone knows how to dial 911 in the case of an emergency, but you should also keep a list of other numbers you might need in case of summer emergencies. Some key phone numbers include your local fire department, your doctors, your local hospital, your vet (if you own pets), your insurance provider, and family members that you want to notify if you become ill.  

  1. Know the Symptoms of a Heat Stroke

It’s extremely important to know the signs of a heat stroke.

During the summer, be particularly cautious about abnormally high body temperatures, a condition known as hyperthermia. A heatstroke is an advanced form of hyperthermia that can be life-threatening. Make sure to know the warning signs and get medical attention immediately if you or anyone you know is experiencing these symptoms:

  • Body temperature greater than 104 degrees
  • A change in behavior, such as acting confused, agitated or grouchy
  • Dry, flushed skin
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Heavy breathing or a rapid pulse
  • Not sweating, even if it’s hot out
  • Fainting

Elderly individuals have a harder time knowing when they are dehydrated, and their bodies have more difficulty regulating their temperatures. As a result, older adults are more prone to heatstroke. If you (or an elderly loved one) start to feel any of these symptoms, ask for medical help and get out of the heat, lie down and place ice packs on your body.

  1. Stay Indoors during Extreme Temperatures

When temperatures are too high, stay indoors — ideally, as described above, in air conditioning. The most dangerous times are typically between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when the sun is at its hottest. When you do need to go outdoors, dress appropriately in clothing that is lightweight, loose-fitting, and light-colored. Also important: sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats. 

  1. Properly Store Medications

The heat can have a negative effect on certain medications, so it’s a good idea to check in with your doctor or pharmacist when the temperature starts to rise. You may need to move some medications to the fridge or a cool area of the home (like the basement) to avoid spoilage and reduced effectiveness.

Summer Activities for Older Adults

The weather is getting hotter, making it the perfect time of year to enjoy spending time outdoors. If you’ve reached retirement age, the old summer tradition of visiting an amusement park to ride the roller coasters is probably no longer your cup of tea. If it is, more power to you; keep riding those coasters until you can’t take it anymore. If you’re like most seniors, though, you’re probably looking for something a bit more mellow. Read on for ten fun summer activities.

  1. Going to a Musem

Many museums offer discounted tickets for seniors, so don’t miss your chance to take advantage of these money-saving opportunities. Tour an art or natural history museum in your area, or look for something a bit out of the ordinary. Museums are popping up all over the country with focuses on niche interests, like collectibles, specific points in history, particular regions, and more. A quick internet search can reveal a plethora of opportunities in your area, with some just a short train or bus ride away.

  1. Fishing 

Fishing is a relaxing activity that appeals to older adults. Seniors might enjoy spending time with old friends or a grandchild. Seniors can go to local fishing spots during the early morning hours or in the evening—basically when temperatures are not too intense. 

  1. Attending Local Outdoor Events 

Weekly outdoor events are becoming popular in many communities. Some places offer concerts, which give seniors a chance to hear their favorite songs, while others feature live plays or outdoor movies weekly. These outdoor events tend to take place in the evenings when it’s cooler.

  1. Bird Watching

Invest in a bird feeder and you can enjoy many hours of bird watching. This can be a more in-depth activity if you borrow books from a local library and identify the various birds you see. A pair of binoculars can be useful in seeing further and could help with vision issues.

  1. Joining Adult Classes 

Many community centers and colleges offer classes during summertime. Seniors can opt for these classes and learn a foreign language. Learning stimulates different regions of the brain, preventing cognitive impairment. Interacting with other students will help seniors broaden their social circle. 

  1. Go Swimming or Wading

Aqua aerobics isn’t just for cruise ships and resorts anymore. Many popular fitness centers and public swimming pools offer these classes, giving you the chance to stay in shape while also beating the heat. Check with your local gym or a public pool for specific class times and difficulty levels. Most of these workouts are low-impact, making it perfect for elderly individuals. Depending on the instructor’s style, though, some of these challenges can be much more challenging. If you are unsure if a particular class is suitable for your ability level, feel free to ask the instructor before signing up for the class.

  1. Have a Picnic

Seniors can plan a picnic with their families. They can gather snacks, a few drinks, a blanket, and perhaps some music and head to the local park to spend a fun-filled day.

Or if a picnic is not your thing, try dining al fresco. At most restaurants, the lunch menu is more affordable than the dinner menu, and the portions tend to be smaller as well. Check review sites like Yelp and OpenTable to find restaurant recommendations in your neighborhood. These sites will also tell you which restaurants have outdoor seating. Summer is the perfect season for Al Fresco Dining, so put on your favorite hat to protect your face from the sun and meet up with some friends for a leisurely lunch at a new spot.

  1. Go for a Nature Walk 

Perhaps alone or with your grandchildren, head out for a nature walk. There are so many parks you can visit! It’s a healthy activity.

And don’t be frightened by the word “hike” if you aren’t as mobile as you used to be. There is no need to scale Mount Everest at this stage in your life unless you’ve been preparing for years. Check with your local Department of Parks & Recreation to learn about hiking trails in your area. You’ll be surprised by how many trails are rated easy or very easy, with minimal incline and smooth, well-worn trails. Put on some sunscreen, fill up your water bottle, and enjoy a relaxing stroll in the outdoors. Feel free to set the pace as fast or slow as you wish.

  1. Gardening

Flowers bloom like crazy this time of the year, so head to your local nursery or home improvement store to pick up some new plants for your garden. Don’t feel the need to redo your entire yard; even a simple flower box can spruce up your home, giving it new life. When working outside, be sure to drink plenty of water and take frequent breaks to stretch your legs and back. Gardening is meant to be a fun pastime, not a chore, so take care not to overdo it.

  1. Join or Start Your Own Book Club

If your community does not have a book club, you can start one. Ask your local churches or library to help spread the word. Then start by just sharing books that everyone has enjoyed.

Being a senior doesn’t mean you’re bound to your home. You can enjoy many of the past-times you did when you were younger. These are just a few of the many potential activities you can try out this summer with your family or friends to make the most of the year’s warmest season. The more active you are, the more active your body will want to be; so pick your favorite from this list, get out there, and enjoy the summer!

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