With the arrival of summer, your family is likely planning a vacation or two – even if it's only a weekend getaway to a local beach. While a day spent on the shore is a fun way for the whole family to relax in the sun, there are precautions that need to be taken to keep your elderly loved one safe on the sands. Because you won't have your medical alarm from Bay Alarm handy, you'll have to be extra careful without the medical alert. Here are four tips to keep your relative free from harm.
1. Load up on sunscreen. There's nothing like a sunburn to ruin a perfectly good vacation. To keep your loved one protected, broad-spectrum sunblock is a must. Look for SPF of at least 30, and be sure to cover all areas of the body – even those that are covered by clothes can be susceptible to the sun's dangerous rays. Reapplication is also necessary at least once every two hours – especially if your relative's been swimming or sweating.
2. Watch out for heat exhaustion. Sitting for hours out in the sun can get uncomfortable for seniors if they don't have adequate ways to cool off. Provide plenty of shade and cool drinks, and be on the lookout for signs of heat stroke. These may include nausea, extreme thirst, confusion, headaches or cramps. If you notice any of these symptoms in your loved one, call an ambulance immediately.
3. Go to a beach that has plenty of lifeguards on hand. The ocean can be a dangerous place for anyone – especially senior citizens who aren't as physically fit as they used to be. Things like rip currents, large waves, jellyfish and even sharks should be looked out for. While it's a good idea to keep track of your relative when he or she goes into the water, knowing that a lifeguard is watching who will act upon any sign of distress is comforting.
4. Make sure your relative has adequate footwear. Because the sand can get extremely hot under the sun, a pair of sandals is a good thing to have, as they'll protect your loved one's feet from burning. If you're on a beach that has rocks scattered on the shore and in the shallows of the water, a pair of watershoes is also a smart idea, as they'll prevent cuts from sharp edges.