How to Survive Hot Summers As We Age
It is no secret that as we age, our bodies don’t exactly work the same as they once did. Heat related incidents are commonplace when living in the south and it is imperative to stay in the know of how you can combat the heat when your body can no longer keep up.
The Science of It All
When trying to regulate body temperature, your cardiovascular system and your sweat glands often work in tandem to cool you down. But as we age, we lose our cardiovascular capabilities that are needed to regulate body temperature. Many things often can contribute to heat related illnesses including older age, heart disease, certain medications, etc. People taking beta blockers, diuretics, tricyclic antidepressants, and aspirin are especially susceptible to heat disorders. According to the CDC, heat stroke symptoms are as follows: confusion, altered mental status, slurred speech, loss of consciousness, seizures and very high body temperature. Whereas heat exhaustion symptoms can be seen through: headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, irritability, thirst, heavy sweating, elevated body temperature, decreased urine output.
Tips & Tricks to Beat The Summer Heat
- Drink Fluids- Gatorade is always good to have handy. Focus on fluids that contain carbohydrates and salts, while avoiding alcohol, coffee, and tea. In excess, plain water can actually dilute important electrolytes
- Dress Cool- Stick w/ light colored clothing, clothing made with cotton, and quick dry clothing
- Avoid Sunburn- Raised body temperature is a symptom of getting a sunburn
- Early Morning or Late Night- Avoid doing strenuous activities during the hottest parts of the day
- Enjoy your AC- Get creative and find activities that can be done from the comfort of your own home
In Case of Emergency
LIfe happens! If you or your loved one find yourself in a heat related incident first aid should be administered right away. Find shade and remove as much clothing as possible. Help to regulate the body temperature of the affected person with a cool compress, while fanning them. If the person is alert, encourage them to take sips of cool water or gatorade and elevate their legs slightly while lying down. Medical attention should be obtained from this point on. If the person is unconscious, call 911 immediately.
In the south the heat is pretty unavoidable. It is always a great idea to have a plan in place for those who are most susceptible to the heat. At CARE our first aid trained personal care attendants are there to help should the need ever arise. Contact us today to explore our services and create a customized plan of care for you and your loved one.
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