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Tips to Help Seniors Beat the Heat

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Summer heat is a huge issue for everyone in the summer months, affecting even the most healthy young people. The elderly however, are at an even higher risk for heat-related illnesses. The problem is, as people get older, they become less able to feel their body temperature rising, which leaves the elderly susceptible to heat stroke or exhaustion. The other health conditions many seniors deal with in addition to the heat can be a recipe for disaster. Read on for a few tips to get through the summer heat!

Know Your Medicines

Many medicines prescribed to seniors actually dehydrate them on their own, so combined with hot weather they are at risk. Even though many Baby Boomers report that their physical activity is limited to just a few days each month, dehydration can still set in. Be sure that you or your loved one is drinking plenty of liquids, especially if it’s also humid.

Keep it Light

You shouldn’t bundle up in dark clothes, blankets, or anything heavy. Wear light, neutral colors that are lightweight and loose. This is important to keep the body’s temperature down.

Know the Time

The hottest parts of the day are during the midday, around 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is best to stay indoors during the hottest part of the day, and run errands or go for a walk early or late in the day. If the heat and humidity is extreme, and a senior does not live somewhere air conditioned, they should find somewhere that is.

Know the Signs

Heat-related illnesses are serious, and can be scary to deal with. Know the signs so that you can get care as soon as possible. Dizziness is one of the most common complaints in doctor’s offices, felt by about 70% at some point in their lifetime. However, in seniors it is said that about 65% older than 60 years old are experiencing dizziness every day. Dizziness can get worse and be prolonged in the summer heat, so pay attention to it. Other warning signs include nausea, headaches, rapid or fluttering heartbeats, chest pains, fainting, and/or breathing problems.

Get Help

For quick care, urgent care clinics can be great for heat-related illnesses. With a short wait time, the clinic can help get you or your loved one’s health stabilized as soon as possible. Urgent cares are able to treat these illnesses right on site without the price of an ER.

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