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If summer isn’t your favorite season, you’re not alone. According to Morning Consult, only 24% of U.S. adults say summer is their favorite season, whereas 41% prefer autumn. In many parts of the country, summertime heat can be oppressive, which is especially hard on seniors. Nevertheless, it’s possible to have fun in the sun (or shade) with these summer tips for safety and savings.
Stay Cool and Hydrated
In the Phoenix area, triple-digit temperatures are common during the summer.
The CDC warns that people aged 65 or older are more prone to heat-related health problems. To stay cool, the CDC recommends the following:
- Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible. Avoid relying on a fan as your main cooling source.
- Avoid using the stove or oven to cook.
- Wear loose, lightweight, and light-colored clothing.
- Drink more water than usual. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink. Seniors who are on water pills or limited fluid intake should talk to their doctors about how much water to drink during hot weather.
- Shower or bathe with cool water.
- Avoid strenuous activity and get plenty of rest.
- Check on your friends and neighbors and have someone check on you. Wordle and other online games are a great way to stay in touch. Challenge your friends every day.
During extremely hot weather, a lack of air conditioning can be a serious danger. If your home is too hot, it may be better to spend the day at a library, community center, movie theater, mall, or other air-conditioned indoor location. Many cities also set up cooling stations during the peak summer heat. In Phoenix, the Heat Relief Network provides free water and cool indoor locations.
Have Fun and Be Social
If you’re trying to keep cool by staying inside your home, you run the risk of becoming isolated during the summer. According to WebMD, social isolation has been linked to numerous serious problems, including less restful sleep, increased stress, concentration problems, a decreased ability to regulate eating, and suicidal thoughts.
You can stay cool without sacrificing your mental health and enjoyment:
- See what events are happening at your library. Many libraries offer workshops, book clubs, and other activities.
- Check out your local senior center. There may be classes, exercise groups, and other fun activities during the summer.
- Head to the pool. Swimming can be great exercise and a good way to beat the heat. Make sure you use sunscreen and stay hydrated. Talk to your doctor if you have any health concerns about swimming.
- Invite your neighbors and friends. There’s a good chance some of the people you know are also looking for ways to have fun while staying cool. Take the initiative and invite a group to see a movie.
Find Ways to Save
Don’t let a lack of disposable income keep you from enjoying your summer. There are many inexpensive – and even free – ways to get out and have fun.
- Many libraries offer free or discounted passes to local museums, zoos, and other attractions. The Phoenix Public Library system offers the Culture Pass, which gives library members two free admissions to participating arts and cultural institutions. Visit the library during regular library hours and ask for a Culture Pass at checkout. Passes are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are limited to one pass per family at a time, up to two passes per month.
- Consider buying a movie pass. If you want to spend a lot of time at the movie theater this summer, you may be able to save money by buying a movie pass. You have a few options, including the Regal Unlimited movie subscription and the Movie Pass
- Look for senior discounts. Many places offer senior discounts, but sometimes you might not receive a discount unless you ask. The Penny Hoarder has a list of 75 senior discounts, including for movie theaters and restaurants.
Use Your Medicare Benefits
Many Medicare Advantage plans include supplemental benefits to help you make the most of your summer. If your plan includes gym membership, see what classes are available at the gym this summer or hit the pool. There may also be provider group events in your area.
Do you need help understanding your Medicare benefits? If you have any questions or concerns, reach out to the agents at Western Asset Protection for help. Contact us today.