Senior citizens are more susceptible to high heat conditions as they are often less likely to sense changes in the temperature, less able to compensate for changes in temperature, and may have health conditions/be on medications that can worsen the impact of extreme heat. Seniors should take the following tips into consideration during the hot summer months.
By the time you feel thirsty, you are already beginning to dehydrate. Drink at least 8 glass of non-carbonated, non-caffeinated beverages in the summer months and more if you are going to be outdoors. If you are on fluid restrictions, talk with your nurse or physician about the appropriate amount of fluid intake for you.
DRESS FOR THE OCCASION
Wear light colored breathable clothing (such as cotton). Make sure your clothing is loose fitted. Wear a hat and sunglasses when outdoors to protect your face and eyes from the sun’s damaging rays
Limit outdoor activity during the hottest times of the day from 10am to 4pm. If you are going to be outdoors, plan frequent rest periods to avoid exhaustion. Make sure that a family member knows that you will be outside, so they can check on you.
Make sure you utilize your air conditioner. If you do not have central air, consider a window unit in the room in which you spend the most time. Your home will stay cooler if windows are covered with curtains or blinds. If you cannot afford an air conditioner, contact your area’s local agency on aging for possible financial assistance. Take a cool bath or shower or use ice packs to your forehead and under your arms to cool off after being outside.
REVIEW YOUR MEDICATIONS
Some medications can cause your skin to be more sensitive to the sun. Ask your nurse or physician to review your medications with you.
KNOW THE SYMPTOMS
Know the symptoms of hyperthermia (high body temperature). If you experience any of the following, move to a cooler place and let a family member or friend know at once.
- Rapid Heart Beat
- Breathing Heavily
- Sudden Confusion or Change in Mood
- Feeling Faint
- Not Sweating (even though it is hot)
Your Kare In Home Team