July 24, 2018

Hot Summer: How Seniors Can Help Avoid Heat Stroke

By definition, a heat stroke is caused when your body overheats, typically as a result of prolonged exposure or physical exertion in higher temperatures.

Did you know, seniors are more likely to experience a heat stroke than any other age group? This is because seniors do not adapt to the heat as quickly as younger people do, and pre-existing illnesses or medicines can also make it difficult to adapt to the high temperatures.

If you do not take proper measures to keep your body cool, a heat stroke could cause serious damage, such as extremely high fever, sudden unconsciousness, or even death.

A few small adjustments can go a long way in helping you to avoid heat stroke this summer. Here are a few tips to keep you cool and comfortable:

  1. Hydrate. Drink cool water throughout the entire day. Avoid coffee, tea, soft drinks and alcohol.
  2. Don’t overdo it. Avoid strenuous outdoor activities like gardening and extensive walking.
  3. Dress for the weather. Dress in light layers of cool, breathable clothing so you can add or remove extra garments as needed. Also remember to bring sunglasses and apply sunscreen regularly.
  4. Be prepared. Keep a towel on-hand to dip into cold water and place on your neck as needed.
  5. Eat mindfully. Eat lighter meals during the summer as opposed to hot, hearty dishes. Stick with colder options such as sandwiches, fruits, and salads.
  6. Find shade. If you have to be outside, find the coolest area you can and always move into the shade if possible.
  7. Stay alert. If you feel yourself becoming overheated, light-headed, or notice a change in your body, call 911 or notify the nearest person immediately.

If you make adjustments and are still overwhelmed by the heat, take the time to talk with your family and consult your physician.

When living on your own becomes difficult, assisted living is a great option to consider. At Summerfield Senior Living, our residents maintain their independence and have the peace of mind that the personalized care they need is available to them. Visit lifeatsummerfield.com to learn more and to schedule your personalized tour.

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