As we head into the heat of the summer months it is important for Seniors to stay cool in the summer heat. Older adults do not adjust as well as young people to sudden changes in temperature. They are more likely to have a chronic medical condition that changes normal body responses to heat. They are more likely to take prescription medicines that impair the body’s ability to regulate its temperature or that inhibit perspiration. It is critical to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion which include:
- Heavy sweating
- Muscle Cramps
- Nausea or vomiting
- Skin: may be cool and moist
- Pulse rate: fast and weak
- Breathing: fast and shallow
Here are some guidelines for keeping 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’re not thirsty.
- Wear Appropriate Clothes
it’s hot out, wear light-colored, lightweight, loose-fitting clothes and a wide-brimmed hat.
- Stay Indoors During Mid-day Hours
During periods of extreme heat, the best time to run errands or be outdoors is before 10am or after 6pm, when the temperature tends to be cooler.
- Take it Easy
Avoid exercise and strenuous activity, particularly outdoors, when it’s too hot outside.
- Watch the Heat Index
When there’s a lot of moisture in their air (high humidity), the body’s ability to cool itself through sweating is impaired. The heat index factors humidity and temperature to approximate how the how the weather really feels.
- Seek Air-conditioned Environments
Seniors whose houses aren’t air-conditioned should consider finding an air-conditioned place to spend time during extreme heat. The mall, library or movie theater are all popular options.
- 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.
All your friends at Cottage Caregivers hope you enjoy the summer and make sure you stay cool in the summer heat. If you or someone you know is looking for the best in home care for local seniors on the South Shore or Southeastern, MA be sure to give us a call at 781-430-8599. Have a great summer!!