Summer is just around the corner and as the temperature rises, seniors can be at risk of potential heat strokes and severe dehydration.
Not only can the heat increase the severity of an already present condition, some medications can increase the risk of dehydration.
In fact, heat-related illnesses kill more people than most natural disasters in the United States alone. With the elderly being at a higher risk of heat stroke and dehydration this season, it's good to know the signs and how to act upon the situation.
You will notice when a senior is at risk or is really close to having a heat stroke. Some of the signs include:
If you noticed that your loved one has any of the symptoms above, call for medical assistance immediately.
Take the person in need to an air-conditioned building or a shady area and try to cool them down. Remove any fitted articles of clothing and give them room to breathe.
Essentially, try to cool their body down as much as you can before medical personnel arrive.
Another recommendation is to place an ice pack or bags of ice on the person's neck, groin, armpits and back.
The key to preventing dehydration and heat stroke is water. Staying hydrated during these hot summer days is crucial.
Thirst is typically our bodies resistance to dehydration but, as we age, it's harder for the brain to send out the necessary signals when our body needs water.
During the summer it is a good practice to start drinking more water than you would normally. Carry water with you every time you go out and drink it on a regular basis, even when you don't feel thirsty.
Try wearing loose articles of clothing to prevent your body from overheating. When planning any outdoor activity during the summertime make sure to schedule it during the cooler times of the day either in the mornings or early afternoon and protect yourself from the sun by wearing hats, sunglasses or lounging under an umbrella.
Summer means long days, family, and fun. To make the most of it, ensure that you are taking the necessary precautions to prevent heat-related illnesses and remember to stay hydrated.
Do you or a family member need assistance this summer? Please contact us, we'd love to hear from you.