Keeping Your Cool

Summer is shaping up and it’s going to be a hot one! That can be dangerous for your health. For seniors, beating the heat is even more important than ever.

Older adults and young children are often the most at-risk groups for heat-related illnesses. Taking certain medications like beta blockers and diuretics, having medical issues like heart disease and just living alone all increase your risk for heat stress and common traits among senior citizens. Heat stress can result in minor inconveniences like heat rash or cramping or it can create serious problems like dehydration, heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Preventing heat-related illness is an important part of senior home health.

Symptoms

Keep coolPay attention to your body when it’s warm and be aware of the symptoms of heat stress, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. (This is good advice for any age.) Here are a few symptoms to watch out for when the weather gets warm:

  • Hot, dry skin.
  • Paleness, even when hot.
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Fainting

Treatments

If you or a loved one is suffering from any of the above symptoms, seek medical help immediately. Call 911 and cool the person down by getting them to shade or air conditioning as quickly as possible. Use any means necessary to cool the body’s temperature like wet towels, a hose or ice packs placed in the armpits and groin area.

Prevention

Prevention is far better than treatment. If the temperature is over 80 degrees Fahrenheit, seniors need to take precautions.

  • Make sure your AC is functioning.
  • Younger people should check on older loved ones often.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  • Stay indoors if the heat index is high.
  • Discuss all your medications with your doctor to learn which can increase your risk of heat-related illnesses.

Keep your cool this summer and maintain your health.

David York Agency provides skilled home health aide services for the elderly in their home and is abreast of all the latest guidelines for seniors.  We would be happy to discuss your case with you.  Please call us at (718) 376-7755 or visit our website.  You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.