Older adults are at particular risk of hyperthermia, or heat-related illness. In addition, to medical conditions that make senior adults more susceptible to heat-related illnesses (such as high blood pressure and heart, lung, or kidney disease), many medications also have an impact on tolerance to heat.
At Home Care Assistance Columbus, we make sure our clients understand the importance of staying cool … and hydrated!
It isn’t hard to avoid overheating, however. Keep in mind these tips from the University of Arkansas Extension Office.
- Stay indoors during the hottest part of the day. On very hot days, if you don’t have an air-conditioner, visit a shopping mall, library or senior center. Even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.
- Drink more fluids in hot weather regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
- Though it may seem like a good idea to drink cold liquids as protection from the heat, it may actually cause stomach cramps. It is better to drink cool or lukewarm liquids to protect you from the heat. Avoid drinks that contain caffeine, alcohol or large amounts of sugar, which will cause you to lose bodily fluids.
- Limit your activity and outings to morning and evening hours and take frequent rest breaks in shady areas.
- While you are outside, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses and using sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher.
- Check on your friends and loved ones, especially those with limited mobility.
To enjoy summer to its fullest, take precautions that balance activities with measures that aid your body’s cooling mechanisms. Be cool.