And considering that people over the age of 65 are less likely to sense and respond to temperature changes according to the CDC, it’s important to know the risks of heat stress and the elderly.
If you have an elderly loved one who may be at risk of heat stress–which without emergency treatment can cause permanent disabilities and even death–make sure to remind them of the following information (adapted from the CDC):
- Stay inside and in the air conditioning as much as possible. Your local agency can locate an air-conditioned shelter in your loved one’s area, if need be.
- A fan should not be relied on as a primary cooling device during extreme heat.
- Seniors should drink more water than usual when out in high temperatures, and they shouldn’t wait until they’re thirsty to drink.
- Have a friend or neighbor check on your aging loved one–and perhaps you could do the same for someone in your area.
- Avoid using the stove or oven to cook as much as possible, as that only makes the house hotter.
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothing.
- Take cool showers or baths to cool down as needed.
- Keep an eye on local news for health and safety updates.
- If your loved one has any of symptoms of heat-releated illness, seek medical care immediately.
While seniors won’t always be at risk of heat stress when outside during the summer, it can never hurt to be too careful. Being proactive and taking all the steps you can will help ensure that your elderly loved one stays cool and beats the summer heat.
Do you have any other tips for avoiding heat stress? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.
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