The National Weather Service has issued excessive heat warnings for northern Arizona this week, and with the hot temperatures comes an increase in heat related illnesses. Heat waves are uncomfortable for most people, but they can be deadly for seniors. Soaring temperatures can cause serious medical consequences for the elderly, and finding ways to keep your loved one cool during a heat wave can be essential to his or her overall health and wellbeing.
According to Aging.com, "Part of the problem lies in the fact that older people simply can't handle the heat as well as younger ones, because they don't sweat as effectively and have poorer circulation. Obesity, heart disease, dementia, diabetes and other chronic medical conditions can compound the risk. So can certain medications, especially diuretics or those prescribed for hypertension and Parkinson's disease.”
Heat stroke is serious and can lead to blood clots, seizures, and other potentially fatal complications.
Take Extra Precautions During Heat Waves:
Keep in Contact
Check in regularly with your loved one, in person, multiple times a day. Make sure they have a way to contact you as well.
Make sure they are drinking plenty of fluids. It’s important to catch dehydration early on. Early signs of dehydration are headaches, bad breath, muscle cramps, and loss of skin elasticity. The best way to see if a person is getting enough water is to look at the color of their urine, the lighter the better!
Make sure your loved one has adequate cooling from AC or a fan and good ventilation. Cool, wet towels can help too. Make sure they have a glass of water in every room.
Find an Alternative
If it’s too hot to stay at home, then make other plans. This may mean staying in a hotel or simply going to a cooling center during the day. Many cities open gyms and recreation centers for people who are seeking to beat the heat. A day at the movie theater or indoor mall may be just what your loved one needs to keep cool.
Staying cool during a heat wave is important for all seniors, but if your loved one faces any health challenges,it may be difficult to do what it takes to avoid the heat. A professional caregiver from Home Care Assistance can offer that extra helping hand. At Home Care Assistance of Prescott, we offer live-in and part-time hourly care in Prescott, and our caregivers can provide transportation or even go grocery shopping whenever your loved one starts running low on fluids. For more information, call a Care Manager today at 928-771-0105 to schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.