Coronavirus (COVID-19): Important information from Sharp
Doctor's office
Enter your doctor's name to get office information.
Find labs in your network
Enter your primary care doctor's name to find labs in your network.
Find urgent care centers in your network
Enter your primary care doctor's name to find urgent care centers in your network.
Verify your medical group

Refer to your insurance card or call your insurance provider to determine your medical group.

You can also search for your primary care doctor to find the medical group you and your doctor belong to.

Driving Directions
Update Information
Forgot Password

Please enter your e-mail address.

Sharp Health News

6 summer safety tips for seniors

Aug. 1, 2019

6 summer safety tips for seniors
Summer is in full swing, and with that comes extreme heat and humidity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 600 people die from heat-related illness in the United States each year.

Older adults face a unique set of safety concerns during the hot summer months. This population is more susceptible to heat-related illness because seniors have a higher sensitivity to heat, and it takes them longer to recover when they are overheated.

It is important for seniors to be proactive and take extra precautions to avoid illness during the summer. Rhealynn Nofuente, a nurse practitioner at the Sharp Senior Health Center in downtown San Diego, offers seniors six tips to stay safe.

1. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Dehydration occurs when your body is losing too much water. “Seniors are prone to dehydration because they aren’t able to conserve as much water as they could when they were younger,” says Nofuente. “To avoid dehydration, they should aim to drink six to eight glasses of water a day, and even more if they plan to be in the sun.”

Older adults should be aware of the signs and symptoms that cause dehydration, which include:
  • Increased thirst
  • Dry mouth or cracked lips
  • Low urine output
  • Having dark or concentrated urine
More serious dehydration symptoms may include:
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Speech difficulties
If an older adult experiences any of these symptoms, they should seek immediate medical attention.

2. Stay up to date on vaccines.
Gardening is a popular summertime activity, but it can also put older adults at risk for tetanus infection. Tetanus lives in the soil and can enter the body through small cuts in the skin. Seniors should wear gardening gloves, whenever possible, to help lower their risk for skin irritations and cuts.

“Older adults should also make sure they are up to date on their tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) vaccinations to help prevent illness,” says Nofuente. Current Sharp Senior Health Center patients with Medicare can receive free vaccinations.

3. Be aware of certain medications and sun exposure.
Certain medications, such as antibiotics, can cause sensitivity to sunlight and increase the risk of sunburn, says Nofuente. A diuretic, or “water pill,” can put you at risk for increased dehydration. Additionally, some medications are affected by heat and can become less effective if stored at temperatures higher than room temperature (approximately 72° F). It is important for a senior to talk to their primary care doctor for more information on the potential side effects of their medications.

4. Keep cool and avoid direct sun exposure.
If possible, seniors should try to stay indoors between 10 am and 4 pm, when the sun’s rays are the strongest. “If an older adult does not have an air conditioner in their home, San Diego County has designated ‘Cool Zones’ around the county, where they can cool off in an air-conditioned environment,” says Nofuente. (View the list of designated Cool Zones.)

5. Wear appropriate clothing.
When possible, seniors should try to wear loose, light-colored, protective clothing and avoid dark-colored clothing, which may absorb the heat, says Nofuente. Older adults are also encouraged to wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses when outside to avoid sunburn.

Sunscreen also protects against harmful sun rays, which can cause skin cancer. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends a sunscreen with “broad spectrum” protection and an SPF of at least 30, which blocks 97% of the sun’s UVB rays. Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes prior to sun exposure, reapplied every two hours, and immediately reapplied after swimming or sweating.

6. Stay connected to family and friends.
“For seniors, having a good support system is important not only during these warm summer months, but at all times,” says Nofuente. During the summer, the heat can isolate seniors from loved ones. Seniors should let their friends or family know if they need extra help and keep their medical providers up to date about any of their health concerns.

For the news media: To talk with Rhealynn Nofuente, nurse practitioner, about seniors and summer safety for an upcoming story, contact Erica Carlson, senior public relations specialist, at

You might also like:

Choose the doctor who's right for you.

At Sharp, we make it easy to find an exceptional doctor — right where you live and work.

All Categories
Contact Sharp HealthCare
Call us


If this is a life- or limb-threatening emergency, please call 911 immediately.

Email us

Please do not use this form to convey personal or medical information.

How would you like to be contacted?
Date of birth

Find other numbers

View our phone directory

What's This?

These important numbers are located on your billing statement.

Find your Sharp Rees-Stealy account number

Find your Sharp Rees-Stealy account number

Find your Sharp hospital account number

Find your Sharp hospital account number

Find your SharpCare account number

Find your SharpCare account number
What's GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) governs the processing of personal information gathered from individuals while they are in the European Union (EU) and parts of the EEA (European Economic Area, which currently includes Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway).

We are sorry, but we are unable to process hospital price estimates if you live or are travelling within the EU or affiliated nations.

To learn more, call us at 858-499-5901.

What's This?

Many surgery and procedure names sound similar. If possible, please provide the current procedure terminology (CPT) code, which can be found on the order from your doctor.

If you cannot provide the CPT code, please contact your doctor's office for the CPT or a detailed description of services.