Preventing Heat-Related Illnesses for Seniors | Executive Care of Montgomery County

 

Spending quality time outdoors is beneficial for all of us, no matter what your age is.

There are many benefits older adults can enjoy from being outside, but unfortunately, those benefits can be outweighed by the dangers of heat.

Heat stress can be an issue for the elderly due to the changes in their physiology. There are many reasons the body can struggle to regulate temperature, including chronic health conditions and medications that can make it difficult to respond to heat and control the production of sweat.

Ways the Heat Can Harm

Heat-related illnesses, encompassed under hyperthermia, can easily go from serious to deadly under certain situations. These illnesses can include:

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

Know that many different health-related factors could boost the risk of hyperthermia. Knowing what those are could make quite a difference for your loved one’s well-being. Some of these factors include:

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

Ways to Protect Your Loved One

It doesn’t have to be difficult keeping your loved one safe from the dangers of heat this summer if you follow these simple tips.

There are two ways to keep older adults protected from the heat, which are to make sure they are staying hydrated and cool.

Peak heat times tend to be between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., which means it’s best for your loved one to spend limited time outside then. Your loved one should also be able to seek refuge from the heat in air-conditioned areas and not be relying solely on the use of fans.

It can be wise for the elderly to increase their fluid intake to account for more time spent out in the heat, remembering to drink before they feel thirsty. There is a catch, though, if they have a medical issue or are on medications that call for fluid limitations. If this is the case, be sure to consult with their doctor to find out what the recommended fluid intake is.

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 Montgomery County 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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