keeping seniors safe during a heatwave

June 01, 2022

During a heatwave, seniors are at risk for health problems like dehydration, heatstroke, and even death. The elderly are especially vulnerable to the dangers of extreme heat. Without proper precautions, they can quickly become dehydrated or suffer from heatstroke.

Make sure they drink plenty of fluids, stay in air-conditioned spaces as much as possible, and avoid strenuous activities outdoors. If they start to feel unwell, seek medical help right away.

Follow the tips in this blog to help keep your loved ones safe during a heatwave.

Heatwaves During Summer

A heatwave is a prolonged period of sweltering weather. Temperatures can reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, and the humidity can make it feel even hotter. Heatwaves are very common in summer because the sun is at its highest point in the sky.

Seniors are more vulnerable to heatwaves because they don’t sweat as much as younger people, and their bodies don’t adjust to temperature changes. This means they can become dehydrated quickly, and their body temperature can rise to dangerous levels.

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Effects of Extreme Heat on Seniors

Extreme heat can cause dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluids than it takes in. Symptoms of dehydration include thirst, dark urine, and feeling lightheaded.

Heat exhaustion is a condition that can occur when the body is unable to cool itself down. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, rapid breathing, fainting, and a fast, weak pulse.

Heatstroke is a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the body temperature rises to 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Symptoms of heatstroke include red, hot skin that is dry or damp, changes in consciousness, rapid breathing, and a fast heartbeat. If you suspect that someone has heatstroke, call 911 immediately.

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What You Can Do To Protect Seniors During Heat Waves

There are a few things that you can do to protect seniors during heat waves:

Make Sure They Stay Hydrated

Seniors are more susceptible to dehydration, so make sure they drink plenty of fluids throughout the day – even if they do not feel thirsty. Avoid alcoholic beverages and sugary drinks, which can contribute to dehydration.

Keep Cool

Help them stay cool by keeping the blinds or curtains closed during the day and opening them up at night. You can also run a fan or air conditioner to help circulate the air.

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Dress In Loose, Lightweight Clothing

Make sure they are wearing loose, lightweight clothing so that their skin can breathe. Natural fabrics like cotton are best.

Monitor Medications

Some medications can make seniors more susceptible to heat-related illnesses. Make sure you know their medications and talk to their doctor if you have any concerns.

Check on Them Regularly

If possible, check on them multiple times a day to ensure they’re doing okay. Try not to leave them alone, especially if there’s a heatwave.

Contact Embassy Healthcare for Assistance

If you’re worried about a loved one during a heatwave, contact Embassy Healthcare. We can help you develop a plan to keep them safe and healthy. Our priority is to keep our residents safe and comfortable. Contact us today.