Posts Tagged ‘heat stroke’

Heat Stroke: Know the Signs

Shot of an old lady sitting on the grass on a sunny day, feeling faint, and a young woman assisting her

As the mercury rises this summer, it is important to recognize the signs of heat stroke and know how to prevent it. Older people are more susceptible to heat stroke because their bodies are less adaptable to changes in temperature. In addition, certain medications can also affect how their bodies react to changing temperatures.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the following are all signs of heat stroke:

  • High body temperature (103°F or higher)
  • Hot, red, dry, or damp skin
  • Fast, strong pulse
  • Headache
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Nausea
  • Feeling confused
  • Losing consciousness (passing out)

Heat stroke is a medical emergency and you should call 911 if you or a loved one experiences the above symptoms. While you can cool someone off by bringing them into an air-conditioned home or using cool towels on them, the CDC says you should not give them anything to drink.

If you are caring for an aging loved one, make sure they drink plenty of water, even if they don’t feel thirsty. Make sure they spend time in air conditioned buildings or in a cool, shady spot during the hottest part of the day. Have them dress in light colored, loose fitting clothing and avoid strenuous exercise or activity during the heat of the day.

For more information on heat stroke and heat-related illness, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

July Newsletter: Beat the Heat

Our July newsletter has great information on how to protect yourself from heat-related illness, tips for getting siblings to share in the caregiving responsibilities, local events and activities and more. Click here to read our July newsletter!

July Newsletter: Happy Independence Day!

A display of American flags with a sky background

Our July newsletter has hurricane preparedness tips, information on the legal win for the Affordable Care Act, how to recognize and prevent heat stroke, local events and much more! Click here to read our July newsletter!

Baby It’s HOT Outside!

What You Need To Know About Extreme Heat

thermometer in the sky, the heat

In case you haven’t been outside in the last week, it has been HOT. We are talking temps just shy of 100 degrees Fahrenheit without the heat index! Extreme temperatures not only feel unbearable but they can also be deadly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hundreds of people die each year from extreme heat—more than hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes combined!

The elderly are especially susceptible to heat-related health problems, and it’s a good idea to remind your loved ones and elderly neighbors to stay indoors when temperatures skyrocket. The elderly may have a harder time recognizing they are overheated until it’s too late. The CDC lists the symptoms of heat stroke as:

  • High body temperature (above 103°F)*
  • Hot, red, dry or moist skin
  • Rapid and strong pulse
  • Possible unconsciousness

If you suspect someone you know is suffering from heat stroke, call 911 immediately and move them to a cool location. Although it seems counterintuitive, do not give them fluids but rather cool their body with cold compresses or even a bath. Being proactive is the best way to prevent heat-related illnesses. Stay indoors if you have air conditioning, and if not, try to spend several hours of the day in an air conditioned building. Drink plenty of fluids and avoid exercising or outdoor work during the hottest part of the day. Make a point to check in with your elderly neighbors and loved ones, it might just save their lives.

For more information on extreme heat and your health, visit the CDC’s website at http://www.cdc.gov/extremeheat

Protecting The Elderly From Extreme Summer Temperatures

Heat Wave Puts Elderly at Risk

Article courtesy of National Care Planning Council

It was 3:00 PM when Linda noticed her elderly neighbor had not been out to pick up her paper nor opened her windows.  A heat wave had kept temperatures near 100 degrees all week long. When Linda knocked on her neighbor’s door, Megan, 88 years old answered immediately.  “Is it morning yet?” she asked confused at why Linda was at her door.  Linda noticed that Megan’s eyes were sunken, she was disoriented and dizzy. The temperature in her house was well over 100 degrees.  A call for an ambulance saved Megan’s life.  She was extremely dehydrated and suffering heat exhaustion.

With the hot summer heat upon most of the nation and temperatures topping 100 degrees, dehydration and heat exhaustion are a high danger for the elderly. Illnesses relating to aging, medication and the body’s aging process cause a quicker reaction to the heat than someone younger.

An elderly person may not recognize what is happening until life threatening conditions have become evident.  Family and friends can save the lives of their loved ones and friends by simply checking on them daily during the hot season and knowing the danger signs.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists signs to watch for in elderly with heat exhaustion and fatigue:

Heavy sweating

Paleness

Muscle Cramps

Tiredness

Weakness

Dizziness

Headache

Nausea or vomiting

Fainting

Skin: may be cool and moist

Pulse rate: fast and weak

Breathing: fast and shallow

A few simple steps can help someone suffering from the heat.  If they do not have air conditioning, provide a fan to move the air around, see that there is plenty of water within reach of their chair or in the refrigerator. Freeze some bottled water to set on their laps or in their chairs to help lower their body temperature.  Encourage them to take a cool shower during the hottest time of day. Take them on an outing to a mall or other air conditioned facility. Check the hours and activities at local Senior Centers where they can spend some time during the day.

Volunteer services extend extra time in the summer to check on the elderly.  Meals on Wheels volunteers in Mid-South make a point to leave extra water with daily meals.

Shelby County Senior Services volunteer staff check on dozen of residents most susceptible to hot temperatures. Humboldt State University youth volunteer group helps seniors throughout the year.

Neighborhoods are filled with people who are dog walkers, bird watchers, joggers, walkers and baby strollers.  This summer let’s add elderly helpers to that list.  Just being an alert neighbor may save a seniors life.

Article courtesy of National Care Planning Council. Visit their website at longtermcarelink.net.

Heat Safety Tips from the CDC

elderly_woman with water

Stay Safe As Temperatures Rise This Summer

Heat related illness and death strikes many people each year, and it can usually be avoided. Find out how you can keep yourself and loved ones safe this summer by following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Extreme Heat tips.