Posts Tagged ‘heat’

Senior citizens and even those not so senior, such as those in mid life need to take precautions in the summer months to ensure that they do not have to cope with a heat-related medical problem such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

There are ways to prevent heat-related illnesses from affecting you or someone you love. One of the most important things you can do is very simple. You must drink plenty of fluids on a daily basis. Do not wait until you feel thirsty, instead drink up frequently! Just keep drinking and sipping (especially water!) throughout the day. The more active you are the more you should drink. One exception to this is if your physician has restricted the amount of fluids you are to take in due to a medical problem.

You want to avoid alcohol and caffeine as much as possible because they both can increase the amount of fluids you can lose.

If you have an air conditioner and the evening is very balmy then leave it on when you go to bed. This can help you to have a fitful night’s sleep. If you do not have an air conditioner or do not want to run it throughout the night then open  some windows if it is safe to do so in order for cross ventilation to take place.

During the daytime when the sun is at its hottest close the curtains or blinds in your home. This should help out block out some of the heat and light and will help to make the rooms in your home cooler.

Buy as many fans as you need. Choose whatever sizes are most appropriate for your house. Put a fan in every room if necessary. Make sure you place them in a safe place that is away from the fingers of little children and the paws of any pets you may have.

If despite your best efforts your place is still sweltering during the day (or if you do not own an air conditioner) then go someplace where you know that there is air conditioning. Take a stroll through the local mall or go visit a friend. Visit the public library or drop by the local senior’s center to cool off, enjoy some conversation and to get refreshed. Spend at least two hours in an air conditioned place when the heat is really high.

Choose natural fabrics such as cotton or cotton blends that are cool and fit your body loosely. Clothing that is light in color will reflect the sun and the heat much better than will colors that are dark. When you go outside wear a wide brimmed hat to keep your face shaded. If you must be outside for a while then consider setting up an umbrella for shade.

It is not advisable for seniors (and in fact those of any age) to exercise too vigorously when it is really hot out. If you must, engage in light physical activity only. Save more strenuous workout for when the weather is cooler.

It is always a good habit to get into to watch weather reports on television or check them out online. The risks to your health increase with high temperatures and increased humidity levels. You should also pay close attention to the alerts regarding air pollution.


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We all look for ways to keep cool in the summer heat but this is especially important for senior citizens in terms of their health and safety.

Hot weather can be particularly dangerous for those who are elderly. In order to be able to help the senior citizens in your life it helps to understand who is at the greatest risk. Here we look at that. In part two we will look at how to prevent these heat-related problems from affecting you or someone you care about.

Heat-related illnesses often strike those most vulnerable to them. That includes people on either side of the age spectrum – the very young and the older population.

Heat cramps is something that many older people suffer from as is heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Deaths among elderly people are very common during the summer months. It is important to keep in regular contact with older individuals in your life, be they family members, friends or neighbors to make sure that they are staying cool when the temperature starts to rise.

Find out if they are consuming an adequate amount of fluids. This is necessary to prevent dehydration.

There are some people who are at the greatest risks of health problems connected to the heat. These include those over the age of 50 as well as those who have high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease or lung problems. There are some types of medications that make it difficult for the body to cool itself off through sweating.

Any person who is taking these types of medications has a greater chance of developing a condition associated with the heat. Examples of these include certain types of heart and blood pressure meds, diuretics, sedatives and tranquilizers.

Individuals who live in homes without air conditioning or homes that lack good circulation can also find themselves at a higher risk for heat exhaustion or heat stroke, etc. Be aware that the temperature during the summer months does not have to reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit in order for a person to be stricken with a heat- related sickness.

Those who are overweight or underweight are also at a greater risk for a health problem connected to the heat. If you tend to drink alcohol frequently then you increase your risk as well.

If you take different types of medications for a variety of health issues then talk to your doctor about how these drugs (and /or the combination of them) can cause you problems in the summer when you are sweating and trying to cool down. Do not stop taking your prescription medication in the summertime without your doctor’s knowledge. Instead talk to him or her first about your concerns.

Continue onto part two to learn about how to prevent heat-related illnesses.


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