AVOIDING HEAT STRESS IN OLDER ADULTS

Hot weather is dangerous, and everyone feels the heat differently but for the elderly, heat stroke and heat exhaustion are a real problem.  Over 40% of heat-related fatalities  are among people over 65.

The elderly are more susceptible to heat for various reasons such as, a person’s ability to notice changes in their body temperature decreases with age.  Seniors may have health conditions that make them less able to tolerate the heat, and medications can also contribute to dehydration.

Here are a few tips to keep safe in hot weather:

Drink Plenty of Liquids – Dehydration is the root of many heat related health problems.  Drink plenty of water or juice even if you are not thirsty.

Wear Appropriate Clothes – when it’s hot out, wear light-colored, lightweight, loose-fitting clothes and a wide-brimmed hat.

Stay Indoors During Mid-day Hours – the best time to run errands or be outdoors is before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m., when the temperature tends to be cooler.

Take it Easy – avoid exercise and strenuous activity, particularly outdoors, when it’s very hot out.

Know the Warning Signs of Heat-related Illness – Dizziness, nausea, headache, rapid heartbeat, chest pain, fainting and breathing problems are all warning signs that help should be sought immediately.

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