During Heatwave, Check on Elderly Family and Neighbors

This week, the National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning with dangerously hot conditions and heat index values reachign 110-115 each day.

Over the age of 65, your body does not adjust as well to sudden changes in temperatures. Also, those over 65 may have a chronic medical condition that makes it difficult for their body to adjust along with taking prescriptions that can also impair the body’s ability to regulate its temperature.

According to the CDC, here are some ways to protect the elderly from heat-related stress.

1. Visit older adults at risk at least twice a day and watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Encourage them to increase their fluid intake by drinking cool, nonalcoholic beverages regardless of their activity level.

2. Warning: If their doctor generally limits the amount of fluid they drink or they are on water pills, they will need to ask their doctor how much they should drink while the weather is hot.

3. Take them to air-conditioned locations if they have transportation problems.

Follow these tips when you see the elderly in distress

If you see any signs of severe heat stress, you may be dealing with a life-threatening emergency.

1. Have someone call for immediate medical assistance while you begin cooling the affected person. Do the following:

2. Get the person to a shady area.

3. Cool the person rapidly, using whatever methods you can. For example, immerse the person in a tub of cool water; place the person in a cool shower; spray the person with cool water from a garden hose; sponge the person with cool water; or if the humidity is low, wrap the person in a cool, wet sheet and fan him or her vigorously.

4. Monitor body temperature and continue cooling efforts until the body temperature drops to 101°–102°F
If emergency medical personnel are delayed, call the hospital emergency room for further instructions.

5. Do not give the person alcohol to drink.

6. Get medical assistance as soon as possible.

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