Senior Citizens: Staying Cool and Hydrated
As people get older, they are less able to adapt to high temperatures. As a result, the heat might exacerbate any medical conditions
Certain health problems could increase the risk of the body overheating. These include:
- Underlying diseases such as congestive heart failure, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Trouble walking or moving around
- Age-related changes to the skin, including reduced function in sweat glands
Medications may cause dehydration or affect the ability of the heart, blood vessels or sweat glands to respond to the heat.
Signs that someone is suffering from heat stroke may include: a strong, rapid pulse, lack of sweating, dry flushed skin, faintness, staggering, and mental status changes, such as confusion, combativeness, disorientation or even coma, the experts noted.
Stay cool and avoid heat-related illnesses. Anyone without fans or air conditioners should go to public places with air conditioning, such as shopping malls, movie theaters or libraries.
If it is suspected that someone is suffering from a heat-related illness, take the following steps:
- Call 911 immediately.
- Move into air conditioning or another cool place.
- Lie down and rest.
- Remove or loosen tight-fitting or heavy clothing.
- Drink water or juices if you are able to drink, but avoid alcohol and caffeine.
- Apply cold water or cold compresses to your skin.