5 Tips for Preventing Heat Stroke in Seniors
Extremely hot temperatures can be harmful to anyone, but seniors are particularly vulnerable to heat strokes when the weather gets too hot. Seniors with the lowered immune systems, heart disease, or general weakness are susceptible to heat strokes. Whether your elderly loved is in a nursing care facility or at home, it is very important to prevent heat strokes in seniors and to keep them protected from extreme temperatures.
Here are some ways to prevent heat strokes in seniors:
As a caregiver or healthcare professional, you may be aware of your senior patient’s health conditions. It is important to monitor health conditions such as hypertension or diabetes and take note of how and what they feel. If your senior family member is asthmatic, they might also feel the effects of heat more than others. Extremely heated environments can lead to breathing problems, chest pains, dizziness, weakness, headaches, nausea, or rapid heartbeat.
Watch for any symptoms:
Seniors could have varied symptoms when it comes to heat strokes. Symptoms can range from confusion to agitation. Your senior loved one can feel disoriented or may even experience a heat rash. Heatstroke is a medical emergency and it can be resolved successfully if given the proper attention at the right time. Heat disease, lung disease, medications, and dehydration are some of the main reasons why seniors can experience heat strokes more quickly and easily.
Keep indoors ventilated:
If your senior is indoors throughout the day, make sure the house or care facility is well ventilated. These days, during the COVID-19 pandemic, nursing homes are experiencing a shortage of sufficient air-conditioning. This is quite worrisome for family members who have seniors in nursing care facilities. If their long-term care home is experiencing a lack of sufficient cooling, see what the options are and how you can provide adequate care to your senior parents or grandparents.
Here are some ways to beat the heat indoors:
- Close windows and blinds
- Take a shower to cool down or use a cool damp cloth
- Use light bed linen
- Turn of unnecessary lights and electronics
When the weather is extremely warm, it is recommended to provide light and easy to wear clothing to your senior loved ones. If they feel uncomfortable, they should be able to undress easily instead of struggling with narrow neck openings or difficult to use zippers. Light-colored and loose-fitting clothing is best for hot temperatures. If your senior loved one is in the hospital or a nursing care facility, loose fitting gowns can be worn at night or during the day.
Dehydration is also one of the main causes of heat strokes and other health issues. Even if your senior loved ones or elderly patients are not thirsty, encourage them to take regular sips of water to stay hydrated. Water helps regulate our body temperature and protects the skin. It is also recommended to avoid caffeine during very hot temperatures because it leads to further dehydration. You can keep water bottles or water cooler available for them throughout the day, so they have access to it. Here are some tasty tips to keep your elderly loved ones hydrated.
Are there any other ideas or tips you want to share with us? Leave a comment and let us know.