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SCAN Health Plan Arizona Encourages Sun Smarts and Plenty of Water for Seniors This Summer
Date:6/8/2009

PHOENIX, June 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Summer can be a fun time of year, but it also poses additional risks - especially for seniors. SCAN Health Plan Arizona encourages area seniors to take extra precautions this season with these six tips:

  1. Prevent sunburn. Applying sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher, 30 minutes prior to going out, everyday. Reapply every two to four hours, more frequently after swimming. The sun's rays are the most harmful between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., during which time exposure should be limited.
  2. Stay hydrated. A normal result of aging is a reduction in the sensation of thirst, which allows seniors to become dehydrated more easily. Dehydration can lead to confusion and falls. So keep plenty of cool water on hand and avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine.
  3. Don't get overheated. People have a harder time adjusting to higher temperatures as they age. Even temperatures in the low 90s can be deadly for seniors. To prevent heat-related illness, such as heat stroke, keep the thermostat set below 85 degrees and use personal or ceiling fans to cool the room.
  4. Protect against insect bites. Bugs are attracted to bright colors, scented soaps, perfumes, uncovered food and stagnant bodies of water. Insect repellents containing DEET are the most effective in keeping insects away. If you do get stung, the best way to remove a visible stinger from skin is to gently scrape it off horizontally with a credit card or fingernail.
  5. Travel safely. Keep supplies such as water, snacks and a first-aid kit in the car at all times. Keep a list of your medications and physicians' names and phone numbers in your purse or wallet. Always wear your seatbelt.
  6. Know the signs of heat stroke. If you develop a flushed face, headache, nausea, rapid pulse, dizziness or confusion, seek immediate medical attention.

"Every year seniors become ill, are hospitalized or worse due to the intense Arizona heat," said Dr. Marc Lato, medical director for SCAN Health Plan Arizona. "With these simple tips, we hope people won't get caught off guard this summer."

SCAN Health Plan Arizona is an exclusive sponsor of "Healthy Tips for Successful Aging" with ABC 15. Each week, the station airs 30-second health tips provided by SCAN as part of the nonprofit health plan's ongoing commitment to improving the lives of seniors by helping them remain healthy and independent.

About SCAN Health Plan

For more than 30 years, SCAN Health Plan has been focusing on the unique needs of people with Medicare and today is the fourth-largest nonprofit Medicare Advantage Plan in the United States. The company currently serves 110,000 members in Southern California. In Arizona it offers a Medicare Advantage Plan in Maricopa County and provides long-term care services to individuals in that county who are enrolled in the state's long-term care system. Further information may be obtained at scanhealthplan.com.


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SOURCE SCAN Health Plan Arizona
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