The Dog Days of Summer: How to Protect Your Aging Loved from the Sun

The lazy days of summer …

We all look forward to them. But along with barbeques and sunshine come concerns about dehydration, sun burn, heat exhaustion or worse. Our Northern Kentucky summers are notorious for being hot and hazy. Those conditions make our seniors especially vulnerable. So what can you do to help protect an aging loved one during the dog days of a Northern Kentucky summer?

 Protection solaire  du visage

The aging experts at Covington’s St. Charles Community offer this advice:

  • ·         Stay out of the sun, especially during the peak hours of the day.
  • ·         Wear sunscreen all of the time. Don’t forget to apply it to your neck, hands, and ears. Those areas are often overlooked.
  • ·         Wear sunglasses. Health experts will tell you it is one of the best things you can do to protect your eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration.
  • ·         If you have to be outside during the hottest times of the day, wear light, loose-fitting clothing. Long sleeves are best.
  • ·         Carry water with you and drink it all throughout the day. Experts recommend 8 to 10 glasses a day and summer is a time to make sure you meet or exceed that minimum.
  • ·         If your home doesn’t have air conditioning, try visiting places that do have it during the hottest hours of the day. Some senior centers act as cooling centers during the summer. Other places you could go include local malls, museums, movie theaters, coffee houses and restaurants.
  • ·         Pass on the hot showers and opt for cool ones instead.
  • ·         Avoid alcoholic beverages. They can contribute to dehydration especially in the elderly. Instead, drink water or sports drinks to help you stay hydrated.


The experts at The Mayo Clinic ( advice family caregivers to educate themselves on the signs and symptoms of heat related illness.


Those include:

  • ·         Nausea and sweating
  • ·         Dizziness or weakness
  • ·         Poor coordination
  • ·         Rise in temperature
  • ·         Confusion
  • ·         Flushed skin
  • ·         Rapid breathing or slowed breathing


If your loved one experiences these symptoms, call 911 immediately. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are life threatening emergencies that need to be treated immediately.


Do you care for an aging loved one in Northern Kentucky or Greater Cincinnati? How do you help keep them safe during our famously hot summers?




St. Charles Community is Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati’s most trusted senior care partner. A faith-based, nonprofit organization, we have served elders in our community for over 50 years. Contact us today at 859.331.3224 for your senior care and living needs.