5 Steps to Protect Against Extreme Heat

By Kathy N. Johnson, PhD, CMC

Extreme heat is a leading cause of preventable death among seniors and with recent record-breaking temperatures, it is important seniors and caregivers know how to stay safe in hot weather. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more people in the United States die from extreme heat than earthquakes, hurricanes, lightning, floods and tornadoes combined. Of these preventable heat-related deaths, seniors account for 40 percent, according to Dr. Thomas Cavalieri, founder of the New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging. As people age, their bodies cannot cool down as well as when they were younger. Elderly people may not feel as hot when temperatures are very high and are less likely to feel thirsty when their bodies are near dehydration, according to experts at the American Geriatric Society’s Foundation for Health in Aging.

Here are five tips to help seniors stay safe in hot weather:

1. Seek an air-conditioned environment.
If you do not have air-conditioning at home, visit an air-conditioned shopping mall, restaurant or library. During extreme heat warnings, cities often set up cooling centers for the public to escape the heat. If you cannot leave your home, take a cool shower or place cool towels around pulse points such as the neck and armpits.

2. Drink plenty of cool, non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated, low-sugar beverages.
When the body sweats, it loses vital salts and minerals, so grab a sports drink or a Pedialyte. If your liquid intake is limited, eat cold fruits that contain high amounts of water like apples, watermelon and cantaloupe.

3. Stay out of the sun during the warmest parts of the day.
This is usually between 10 or 11 am and 3 or 4 pm when one should wear weather appropriate clothing that is loose fitting with light fabrics.

4. Use a buddy system.
Ask a friend or relative to call and check on you twice a day. If you know someone 60 or older, call to check on them twice a day.

5. Hire a caregiver from a reputable agency.
Find a caregiver agency that specializes in in-home senior care and who is trained in senior safety. They can provide care on an hourly or live-in basis, depending on the senior’s needs.

Source: ParentGiving.com

Home Care Assistance offers the highest quality 24/7 live-in home care in the Region of Halton (Oakville, Burlington, Halton Hills, and Milton), Region of Peel (Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon) and Hamilton.

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1 Responses to “5 Steps to Protect Against Extreme Heat”

  1. excelcompanioncare.com says:

    Hi thank you very much for sharing the great news. Senior care and who is trained in senior safety. Rally it’s helpful.

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