Recent studies show that aging is associated with heat intolerance in adults. It’s a common observation that older people are more affected by weather fluctuations. Usually, people aged 60-65 years are prone to getting heat-related illnesses due to hot weather.
The heat stress or in medical term hypothermia can be caused due to several causes, medication, and chronic medical problems are the most common among them.
Generally, the body has its own cooling mechanism, it keeps the temperature in balance and generates a cooling effect by sweating. Due to certain health issues and environmental factors and aging, of course, the body’s ability to keep itself cool reduces and diminishes slowly.
Therefore, elder people need special care and attention to overcome this heat intolerance. Otherwise, it may have critical consequences. Well, not if you know symptoms, risk factors, and tips that can help in the well-being of patients especially elders suffering from hypothermia.
Why Older People Are More Vulnerable To Heat Stress?
Weather changes affect both the young and the old, but its effects are more fatal in older people, due to their medication that alters body responses against certain stimuli. Here are the common symptoms of heat stress.
- Vomiting & nausea
- Dry and hot skin
- Delirium (confused thinking & reduced awareness)
- Confusion and disorientation
- Muscle cramps
- Tachycardia (fast heart rate)
These symptoms can vary according to the health condition of the individuals. If any of the elder members in your home or around you are showing any of the above-mentioned symptoms then, it’s essential to help them out immediately. Otherwise, the consequences can be fatal.
How To Overcome Heat Stress In Older Adults?
So, let’s cover the important point first, that what can be the possible solutions, tips, or tricks that can help an older person to overcome heat intolerance. Or if you ever encounter such a situation, then how you can help the person suffering in the scenario! Well, let’s discuss it at length.
Self Help Is The Best Help!
You are the first person to be available for your help. So be sensible and take care of certain things and factors that will save you from hyperthermia. The following are some useful health tips in this aspect:
- Visit Your Doctors :
Most of the elders are at medication. So, in summers its essential to visit your physician and review your medication that otherwise could have stimulated the heat intolerance in your body. Besides, you can discuss with your doctors about certain precautions and diet routines, that will help you beat the heat of the summer and help you to stay cool.
- Reduce Alcohol & Caffeine Consumption:
Tea, coffee, and alcoholic drinks have a diuretic effect that dehydrates the body. Therefore, it is highly recommended to reduce the consumption of beverages containing caffeine and alcohol in hot weather.
- Check Weather Report Regularly:
Keep checking wheather details daily and make your diet plan accordingly. Consume a lot of water and juices when the weather is hot. Moreover, take special care of yourself in humid weather as more humidity in air suppresses the body’s ability to produce sweat.
- Be At Cool Places
It’s essential to be in an air-conditioned room when the heat is blistering outside. If you don’t have an air conditioner at your place, or the doctor has forbidden you to sit under the air conditioner then, stay near the electric fan and take cool showers to keep yourself cool.
- Notice The Color Of Your Urine:
When a person is dehydrated, its body retains the maximum amount of water through selective reabsorption while urine formation by the kidney. As a result, the urine appears extremely yellow and brown in some cases. Take note of your urine color and keep yourself hydrated in order to repel heat stress.
How Can You Help Someone In Such A Scenario?
Now, let’s shed some light on the first aid for an elderly who possibly can be suffering from hyperthermia. These tips will help you to tackle the situation better.
First of all, try giving them water and, and ask for a copy of their medical information or medication prescriptions to call the right person for help.
Make sure, there is enough ventilation in their home. Take them to a cool place, turn on the fan. Or take them to an air-conditioned place such as a library or shopping mall, in case there is no AC facilitation at their place.
Being lonely is one of the major causes of heat stress in elderly people. It’s important to visit such people at least twice a day to keep an eye on their condition. Otherwise, you can hire professionals for senior care who can be around them 24/7 and take care of them properly.
And, yes, the right diagnose is very important to resolve the problem appropriately. So, check for the symptoms first. Faintness, muscle cramps, paleness, dull and hot skin are some of the common symptoms of heat intolerance.
If your elder is suffering from hyperthermia, then after first aid, try to take them to the nearest medical facilitation ASAP for the call for help.
Professional Senior Care Can Be Of Great Help
Taking care of a patient special and older adult is a full-time job. You not only need to give them time but also have to be very patient around them and handle them affectionately. Unfortunately, our busy routines do not allow us to do so. Therefore, you can count on professionals who offer elder care services. They will not only take care of your elders, will give them company as well and protect them against the harsh effects of heat and other weather fluctuations.
Adults aged 60-65 years are prone to heat stress that can be fatal if not taken seriously. The above-mentioned tips and tricks will help elders to take care of them in such a scenario and hiring professionals for senior care can also be very helpful in the well-being of such patients. So, take care of your elders, stay cool, stay healthy!