Older Adults and Summer Heat
Each summer, as temperatures continue to rise, staff at Senior Solutions like to take the opportunity to remind our clients of the risk of heat related illness for older adults. Health issues, medications, as well as the normal physiological changes of aging, can make it difficult for older adults to endure high temperatures. There are a number of ways to avoid any issues and awareness is the first step, so we would like to share these tips:
Use fans or seek areas that are air-conditioned, even if only for a few hours at a time. If you have an older loved one who does not have access to air-conditioning contact your Elder Care Specialist for programs that may help provide a unit, or for a list of cooling centers during heat alerts.
Spend the majority of your time indoors out of the heat. Especially avoid activities during peak hours.
If possible, take a cool bath.
Wear loose fitting clothing in lighter colors.
Drink plenty of fluids and consume adequate nutrition, while avoiding alcohol.
Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness. Heat stroke occurs with the body temperature rises rapidly and the body is unable to cool down. Some warning signs of heat stroke include extremely high body temperature, throbbing headache, rapid pulse, dizziness, heavy sweating, weakness, and nausea. Red, hot, dry skin with no sweating is also a sign of heat stroke. Heat stroke can lead to death or permanent disability if treatment is not administered quickly. If you suspect someone is having a heat stroke call 911 immediately.
Some older people are alone and vulnerable. Each year there are deaths related to heat that could be prevented. During these summer months take a moment to make certain your older neighbors and family members are being cared for, including having access to adequate fluids and food. It could save a life.
For additional information about this or any other caregiver related issue, please contact your ElderCare Specialist Heather Spindler, MSW, at 314-802-5106 or via email at email@example.com.