Seniors can die from heatstroke.
Seniors are at risk of heatstroke in hot weather.
Older people are more sensitive to temperature changes and can’t adjust. Seniors might not be aware that they are overheating until it becomes a serious problem.
It is also more difficult for the body’s heat response to be affected by chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and beta-blockers.
Papayacare discusses heat stroke and offers 5 tips to keep your elderly loved one from getting too hot.
Heatstroke occurs when the body heats up to 40°C (or higher).
This is a serious condition that requires emergency treatment immediately.
Heatstroke, if not treated, can cause permanent damage to the brain, heart, and kidneys. The risk of serious complications and death increases the longer you wait to seek treatment.
5 Ways to Prevent Heatstroke in the Elderly
1. Understanding your older adult’s health condition
- Talk to your doctor about whether medications or other treatments such as diuretics or low salt diets could impact the body’s ability to regulate temperature.
- If you experience heatstroke symptoms, ask your doctor if there are any special steps you should take. Some seniors may find common remedies, such as water and sports drinks, dangerous.
2. Identify heatstroke symptoms for fast treatment
- A headache.
- Dizziness and Confusion.
- Loss of appetite and feeling sick.
- Excessive sweating and pale, clammy skin.
- Cramps in the arms, legs, and stomach.
- Fast breathing or pulse.
- A high temperature of 40C or above.
- Being very thirsty.
Call your doctor immediately if they’re overheating. You can cool them down with the following methods.
3. Get enough water and dress appropriately for the weather
- Encourage your senior adult to keep hydrated throughout their day. Hydration makes the body feel cooler and regulates temperature more effectively. Avoid drinking water that is too cold as it can cause cramps.
- Encourage them to wear as few clothes as possible, ensuring they are as loose and breathable as possible. You can give them a towel to soak in and use as a lap blanket to keep them warm.
4. Stay cool at home
- Use cheap mylar solar shades to block the sun and heat to keep your house cool.
- Heat rises, so stay on your house’s basement or ground floor. Avoid the stuffier, hotter upper floors.
- You can either buy an indoor air conditioner unit or contact a chain store to see if one is available for rent.
5. Keep cool on the outside of your house
If the house gets too hot, you may have to move your senior adult somewhere else. Use hand sanitizer and wear a mask during the coronavirus pandemic.
Air conditioning is available in senior-friendly locations
- House of a relative or friend
- Café or restaurant
- Shopping malls or shops
- Public library
- Senior Assisted Living Facilities like Papayacare