Most of us look forward to summer but hot weather can be dangerous, particularly to adults over 60. A University of Chicago Medical Center study found that 40% of heat-related fatalities in the U.S. were among people over 65. There are several reasons why boomers and seniors are more vulnerable to heat stroke and heat exhaustion and even heat-related deaths.
- As we age, we lose the ability to notice changes in our body temperature.
- Health conditions that may come with age can also make it more difficult for older adults to adapt to heat.
- Some medications can contribute to dehydration.
Keeping cool in summer is essential. Follow these tips:
- Drink plenty of water even if you are not thirsty.
- Avoid coffee and alcoholic beverages contribute to dehydration.
- Wear Appropriate Clothes like light-colored, lightweight, loose-fitting clothes and a wide-brimmed hat.
- Stay indoors during mid-day hours
- Take it easy – Avoid strenuous activity or exercise when it’s very hot. No hot yoga!
- Avoid Humidity – When there’s a lot of moisture in their air (humidity), the body’s ability to cool itself by sweating is impaired.
- Stay in air conditioned places like the mall, library or movie theater.
- Take a cool bath or shower
Know the Warning Signs of Heat-related Illness
Seek help immediately if you experience dizziness, nausea, headache, rapid heartbeat, chest pain, fainting and breathing problems.
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