Summer is in full swing, especially here in Florida. Temperatures for the past three weeks have all been 90+ and no relief is in sight. Did you know that seniors are more prone to heat stress naturally? Chronic health problems and medications often take away the body’s ability to self-regulate its temperature. Seniors also don’t sweat as much as younger people do, which is important in regulating body temperature.
Factors that can increase the risk of heat stress include:
- Wearing clothes that are too hot for the temperature.
- Being outside during extreme heat conditions.
- Being dehydrated.
- Taking medication that decreases sweating.
- Not having enough salt in the diet.
- Performing strenuous activities.
All warning signs are not the same, but signs of heat stress can include:
- Excessive sweating
- Tiredness or weakness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Muscle cramps
- Rapid pulse
- Difficulty breathing
To help prevent heat stress:
- Wear lightweight clothing.
- Drink non-alcoholic beverages.
- Take a cool shower or bath.
- Stay inside during the warmest times of the day, or all day if it is extremely hot.
If you have elderly parents or neighbors, it is important to check in on them and encourage them to stay hydrated. Monitor their air conditioning, too. If the A/C isn’t working or they don’t have any, see if you can take them to someplace that it is air conditioned. And if you see any warning signs, get them medical assistance. Approved Home Health offers a variety of services, including Sunrise/Sunset and Companion Services, which can meet a variety of different needs. Call us for a free nursing evaluation (941) 870-8740 and see how we can help.