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Heat and seniors

Posted: July 25, 2016, 5:19PM

We have been experiencing extremely hot weather this summer!  Although many of us prefer the warmth of summer to winter's chill, the temperatures can be dangerous to seniors.  Here are some hot weather tips:
1.  Stay hydrated.  Make sure to drink plenty of fluids, preferably water.

2.  Wear appropriate clothing such as light-colored clothing, loose fitting clothing and wear a hat if you're out in the sun.

3.  Stay inside during mid-day hours which are the hottest.

4.  Watch the "heat index".  High humidity impairs the body's ability to cool.  Pay attention to the temperature and the humidity.

5.  Know the warning signs of heat-related illnesses.  Nausea, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, breathing difficulties and chest pain are warning signs and you should seek help immediately.

If you are caring for a loved one with dementia, be sure to offer fluids and make sure they are drinking. The tasks involved in getting water may be too complicated or the feeling of thirst may be beyond their ability to interpret.  You may need to offer a glass of water, encourage or coax them to take a drink, and repeat this often.  Medications can also have an impact on hydration.  Diuretics cause frequent urination which can dehydrate the body.  Discourage over-exertion.  A cool shower may help.  Be aware of caffeine in beverages too.






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