Helping the Elderly in a Heat Wave

June 26, 2017 by Miller Admin

shutterstock_606963422With the mercury rising as we head further into the Summer season, an abundance of warnings are spread far and wide via social media about the dangers of heat for children and pets, but what about our elderly? Older adults are at a higher risk of death due to heat related causes as their bodies don’t adjust as well to sudden temperature changes. Couple that with the fact that they are more likely to have a medical condition or take prescription medications that alters a normal response to heat and the risk of death or serious injury goes through the roof.

The ability to recognize body temperature changes tends to decrease with age, meaning it could be too late before a senior notices they are suffering from heat stroke or heat exhaustion. It is important during a heat wave to regularly check on our elderly friends, relatives and neighbors to make sure they are feeling well, have proper living conditions and are taking necessary precautions. Here are some key points to helping everyone stay safe during a period of relentless heat:

  1. Drink Plenty of Liquids
    Dehydration is the root of many heat related health problems. Drink plenty of water even if you’re not thirsty. Avoid alcoholic or caffeinated drinks, as they actually assist in dehydration.
  2. Wear Appropriate Clothes
    Light-colored, lightweight, loose-fitting clothes and a wide-brimmed hat if out in the sun.
  3. Use Cooling Cloths
    Frogg Toggs
    are wonderful at keeping body temperatures low during periods of intense heat. When wet, the towel begins to evaporate and cool, providing cool, soft comfort to the user. When it stops cooling, simply re-wet the towel in hot or cold water and wring it out. Within minutes, it’s cool again.
  4. Stay Indoors During Mid-day Hours
    Do all of your errands before 10am or after 6pm.
  5. Take it Easy
    Take a workout break, particularly any strenuous activity outdoors.
  6. Find Air-Conditioning
    If your home isn’t air-conditioned, consider spending the hottest hours at a public space that is. Shopping malls, libraries, museums are all great spaces to spend time in a cool environment. If this isn’t possible, take cool showers and/or baths.
  7. Know the Warning Signs
    Dizziness, nausea, headache, chest pain, racing heartbeat, fainting and difficulty breathing should not be ignored and help should be sought immediately.

If you suspect anyone is suffering with heat related illness, call 911 immediately. If you have concerns or would like to discuss how you or a family member can better stay hydrated in the heat, please consider a FREE 15 Minute consultation with our Clinical Nutritionists. Millers carries Frogg Togg cooling cloths and extensive line of helpful daily living products for seniors such as tables, bed rails, car caddies, drive steps. Please come in and speak to our customer service staff to discuss your needs. We are glad to help!

Call 201.891.3333 or come in to make an appointment.

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