August heat may prove risky for seniors

Alan Wu

August 13, 2010

The last month of summer is sometimes the hottest and suggests that particularly humid days may present a risk to the health of older adults who are limited in mobility or taking medications that make them dizzy or dehydrated.

Heat stroke and exhaustion may prove very dangerous factors for senior citizens, so it’s important to make sure that everyone is prepared for a scorching summer day. Adult children who are looking after aging parents may want to be aware of the symptoms of these conditions.

The news source reports that heat exhaustion symptoms include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps and fainting, while heat stroke is characterized by high body temperatures, an inability to sweat and confusion.

Seniors should be sure to drink an ample amount of cool water throughout the day and keep physical activity to a minimum. Coffee and tea, as well as alcohol, can significantly contribute to dehydration, so they should be avoided, the news provider suggests.

If a senior is living alone, it is crucial that they have access to an elderly alert system which can serve to notify a doctor or other authority of a medical condition. These devices can also be used to get in touch with neighbors or caregivers.

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