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Summer Heat Risks for Elderly

By Home Care Assistance, 8:00 am on June 22, 2015

As temperatures climb into the triple digits this summer, seniors must be extra diligent in their efforts to stay cool, hydrated, and indoors. Aging adults face a number of elevated heat risks, given the body’s decreasing ability to effectively cool itself at this stage of life. Following are several issues that elderly people and their loved ones should watch out for, presented by trusted Phoenix senior home care provider, Home Care Assistance.

Heat Stroke

Whether indoors or outdoors, seniors can experience heat stroke during the summer months, especially if they aren’t properly hydrated and exposure to high temperatures is prolonged. Some of the most common signs of heat stroke include red, flushed skin, skin that is hot to the touch, an inability to sweat, dizziness, a strong, rapid pulse, and nausea. Heat stroke can result in death if left untreated and thus, caregivers should seek medical help whenever seniors begin to exhibit these symptoms.

Heat Exhaustion

While heat stroke is characterized by an inability to sweat, heat exhaustion is the exact opposite. Seniors may sweat profusely, look pale, have a weak and slow heartbeat, and suffer from dizziness and confusion. Headaches, muscle cramps, and nausea are other signs of heat exhaustion. Seniors who are suspected of having heat exhaustion should be taken to the emergency room. It is important to note that certain senior medications can significantly increase the risk of both heat stroke and heat exhaustion by making it more difficult for the body to effectively cool itself down.

Dehydration

Dehydration becomes an issue as soon as a person feels thirsty. This is why it is important for seniors to drink water all throughout the day. Rather than trying to gulp down large cups of water in a single sitting, however, it is far better to have water constantly on hand and to take small sips as often as possible.

Lack of Resources

The major risk that seniors face during the summer months is a lack of resources, particularly as this pertains to indoor cooling equipment. Having systems like these fail on the hottest days of the year can be deadly. This is why it is important for aging adults and their loved ones to have back-up plans in place. Seniors can make arrangements to stay with family members when indoor cooling systems malfunction and families can schedule regular visits to check in on their loved ones. Hourly and live-in home care agencies in Phoenix can assist with these visits so that seniors are never without essential resources for staying cool, properly hydrated, and safe throughout the summer.

Have other questions about in-home care? Call 602.388.1085 and request a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with an experienced Care Manager from Home Care Assistance of Greater Phoenix.