With summer temperatures already unseasonably hot, it is important for seniors and their caregivers to take precautions to prevent heat stress.
Seniors’ bodies do not adapt as well to extreme temperature changes as younger people. They are more likely to have a chronic medical condition that changes normal body responses to heat and they are more likely to take prescription medicines that affect the body’s ability to control its temperature or sweat.
It’s important for seniors to stay cool, stay hydrated, and remember these important tips to avoid heat stress:
• Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible. If your home doesn’t have air conditioning, contact your local health department or locate an air-conditioned shelter in your area.
• Do not rely on a fan as your main cooling source when it’s really hot outside.
• Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. If your doctor limits the amount of fluids you drink or has you on water pills, ask them how much you should drink during hot weather.
• Don’t use the stove or oven to cook— it will make you and your house hotter. Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing. –Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
• Do not engage in very strenuous activities and get plenty of rest.
• Check on a friend or neighbor and have someone do the same for you. Follow additional tips on how to prevent heat-related illness.