The Dangers of Heat for Seniors | Executive Care of Clearwater

The Dangers of Heat for Seniors

 

Spending quality time outdoors in the summer is always a popular activity for people of all ages.

If your aging loved one’s plans include enjoying the summer outside, remember that while there are certainly many benefits, the high temperatures can become dangerous very quickly.

What exactly makes older adults more sensitive to the sun and the heat it gives off? Well, there are a number of factors, but two common ones are chronic medical conditions and medications, which both make heat less tolerable.

Why Heat Can Be Dangerous

Heat-related illnesses, which fall under the umbrella term “hyperthermia” can become a very serious—if not deadly—risk to elderly individuals. These illnesses may include:

  • Heat stroke
  • Heat edema
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Heat syncope
  • Heat cramps

Because there are other health-related factors that could increase the risk of hyperthermia, it’s best for you to be familiar with them. It could turn out to be a lifesaver in the end.:

  • Age-related changes like poor circulation and inefficient sweat glands
  • High blood pressure or other issues that call for salt-restricted diets
  • Being a overweight or underweight
  • Reduced sweating from medications like diuretics, sedatives, etc.

Keeping Your Loved One Safe This Summer

Worried about keeping your loved one safe from the heat this summer? Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be too difficult of a task.

There are two easy ways to keep elderly adults protected from the heat—make sure they are staying hydrated and cool.

Have them increase their fluid intake when spending time out in the heat and make sure they are not waiting until they are thirsty to drink. Remember, if they have fluid limitations or are on water pills, you should check with their doctor first to find out how much they actually should be drinking.

It’s best to have your loved one stay indoors during the peak heat times, which is usually between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. They should also be spending as much time in an air-conditioned building. Solely relying on a fan as a cooling source when the temperature is higher is not always the best plan.

These safety tips can help ensure that your aging loved one’s summer is one that is enjoyable, beneficial and safe.

The in-home care services provided by Executive Care of Clearwater can work alongside you to ensure your loved one is leading a happy and healthy life throughout the summer and whole year! Contact us today to learn more about the help we can provide.

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