Things are heating up, literally, all around the nation. These extremely hot temperatures we are experiencing can be dangerous and pose a threat to everyone, especially seniors. A recent study showed that 40% of heat-related fatalities in the United States occurred on those over 65 years of age.
Several factors increase senior’s vulnerability to heat. The ability to notice changes in one’s body temperature decreases with age. Also, underlying health conditions can affect their ability to adapt to heat and medications can contribute to dehydration.
Please read below for a few simple but effective precautions that can be taken to keep everyone safe!
Dehydration can be found at the root of many health problems. Drinking plenty of water and/or electrolyte beverages is extremely important, especially when it is hot outside. To figure out how much water your body needs, multiply your weight by 2/3 (or 67%); you should also compensate for activity (add 12oz of water for every 30 minutes of physical activity).
When the temperatures are hot, stick to these guidelines:
Stay Inside During the Middle of the Day
The middle of the day is when temperatures will reach their highest. The best time to run errands or be outside is before 10am or after 6pm.
When the temperatures are extremely hot, it’s best to avoid exercise and any sort of strenuous activity, especially outdoors.
Keep an Eye on the Heat Index
When high temperatures are mixed with high humidity, the body’s ability to cool itself through sweating is impaired. The Heat Index factors in both humidity and temperature to approximate how the weather really feels. You can check your local weather channel or go online for heat index information in your area.
If your home is not air-conditioned, find an air-conditioned place to spend time during extreme heat, especially during mid-day. Some ideas include the mall, library or even a movie theater! If that is not an option, consider a cool bath or shower.
Know the Warning Signs of Heat-Related Illness
Get help immediately if you notice:
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