Health safety precaution tips for our senior citizens PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Niru Prasad, M.D.   
Thursday, 25 August 2011 15:57


As we are growing older, it is very important for all of us to follow some guidelines for staying healthy. With this in mind, I have prepared some tips and guidelines since I have always believed in preventative medicine.

1. Healthy way of living.

2. Prevention of disease by proper immunizations.

3. Avoid summer related injuries.

4. Recognize early signs of dehydration and heat related illnesses.

5. Planning safe summer vacations.

6. Avoid insect bites and stings.                 

7. Thinking positive and about the bright side of aging.


Prevention of disease by proper immunizations

1. Cholesterol screening every year.

2. Influenza vaccine every year. 

3. Tetanus booster every 5 to 10 yrs.

4. Pneumococcal vaccine every 5 yrs.

5. Regular dental checkups every year.

6.  Hearing and vision should be checked every year.

7. Periodic checkups for hypertension, diabetes, and breast exam with routine mammogram as advised by your physician.

8. Routine pelvic exam with Pap smear in females, as well as prostate check up in males, and routine annual colonoscopy to detect colon cancer.


Protection against summer related illnesses

1.    During extreme hot and humid weather, we suffer heat illnesses due to poor thermoregulatory mechanism. Drink plenty of fluids including balanced electrolytes such as Gatorade because sweating can lead to loss of Salt and potassium from body.

2.    Try to stay indoors in air conditioned facilities or shaded areas.

3.    Dress in light, loose and layered clothes.

4.    Wear hats and sun glasses to protect yourself against strong sunlight.

5.    Avoid drinking carbonated drinks and alcohol since drinking alcohol during extreme hot weather can lead to vasodilatation leading to low blood pressure and dizzy spells. Excess carbonated drinks can lead to abdominal cramps and nausea.

6.    Know the medications you are taking since certain medicines such as thyroid pills, hypertension medicines, antihistamines, anti-anxiety pills, and antibiotics such as tetracyclines have adverse effect on you during hot weather.

7.    Recognize the warning symptoms of dehydration such as dry tongue, dizziness spells, and try drinking plenty of fluids.

8.    Heat cramps are due to loss of potassium and electrolytes from the body from sweating and can be corrected by fruit juices and balanced electrolytes solutions.

9.    Heat syncope is fainting spells due to volume deficit and vasodilatations leading to peripheral pooling of blood causing low cardiac output.

10.           Recognize the early signs and symptoms of heat syncope   such as cool moist skin, weak pulse, low blood pressure and dizziness spells and seek medical help immediately.

How to stay cool inside your home

1.    Close blinds, shades, and drapes so hot sunlight does not penetrate.

2.    Eat light to avoid indigestion and stomach cramps. A good insulation will keep cool air. Inside for a longer period.

Planning your summer vacation

1.    Make sure Hotels and airlines know your personal needs.

2.    Notify your travel agents of your health conditions so they are prepared for any medical emergency.

3.    Always carry your medications, immunization card, allergies and your physician contact as well your health insurance cards in your purse or wallets.

4.    Before making hotel reservations make sure hotel is equipped with proper handicapped equipments as needed.

5.    Driving precautions.

6.    Maintain good health; know your limits as to how much driving you can do without problem.

7.    If your driving skills are impaired due to poor vision, arthritis, or any disabilities ask for help.

8.    Lastly, know the details of your car such as brakes, adequate gasoline, adjustable steering etc before you start



Last Updated on Thursday, 25 August 2011 16:06