HEALTHY LIVING- PROTECTING GOD’S GIFTS
PROTECTING GOD’S GIFTS/HEAT STROKE
Temperatures are soaring and summer can be very dangerous. Hot weather is definitely a great health concern for seniors. As we age our bodies are less efficient at sweating, which is how the body cools itself. Also the sensation of thirst decreases. This maybe complicated by other health issues. The risk of heat related illness dramatically increases when the heat index climbs to 90 degrees or more. Heat stroke can be life threatening at any age but more so in older adults. It happens when the body is unable to control its temperature. Symptoms of heat stroke include: -Lack of sweating -Dry reddened skin -Fainting or dizziness -Mental status changes (anything from confusion, disorientation or even coma) -Staggering or lack of coordination If you think you or your senior neighbor or family member are suffering from heat stroke call 911 immediately. Use cold wash rags on their head and body to cool them down. Use a fan, if-one is nearby and get them into a cooler place if possible. When treated promptly, complete recovery is likely.
To keep cool and healthy during hot weather follow these 8 summer health tips: 1. Drink lots of water. ( However, check with your doctor to make sure your fluids are not restricted because of conditions or diseases you may have or medications you take). 2. Stay away from caffeinated and alcoholic beverages. ( While fluids can help replenish you, certain ones such as coffee or alcoholic drinks are diuretics. These can cause you to lose more fluids than you take In). Limit use of your stove and oven. (They make you and your home hotter). 4. Monitor your urine. ( If you are getting dehydrated, it will look darker or tea colored). 5. Stay indoors and limit activities. Between 10AM-6PM is the hottest part of the day. Avoid the outdoors and strenuous activity in this time frame). 6. Stay In air-conditioned areas. (If you don’t have AC at home, try to get to a public building like a library or a mall). 7. Dress for the weather. (When it is hot out, wear light-colored, lightweight loose-fitting clothes and a wide brimmed hat. These along with high SPF sunscreens, also protect against sunburn). 8. Take cold baths or showers. (If you don’t have AC this can be effective to cool you off). If your neighbor or loved ones are elderly, check on them a few times a day to ask how they are feeling and if they are drinking enough water. Even over the phone you can often tell if they are suddenly confused or disoriented or are complaining about dizziness or having trouble walking. Use of a common sense approach when it is hot out is the best way to avoid heat-related problems. Have a safe and happy summer.